Waitrose notched up sales of over £5bn for the first time in the year to January 29.

The milestone, which includes its stores, Direct operations and food halls, as well as its business partners, represents total growth of 10% for the year which started February 1, 2010. During the year, Waitrose market share increased by 0.3% to 4.4%.

In the week to Saturday January 29, Waitrose reported total sales up 6.4%.

In the year, Waitrose has been gunning for growth with initiatives such as the marketing campaign featuring Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal.

Waitrose also launched a Tesco Brand Price Match in September on 1,000 products.

Last week Waitrose came top for the second year running in the Which? supermarket survey.

Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: “Five billion is a fitting finale to a year of growth and consistent outperformance of our industry.

“Achieving this milestone is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the 44,000 Partners who work at Waitrose.”

To mark the achievement, Waitrose has set up a fund, equivalent to £5 per person, to staff and they can decide how they would like to celebrate.