Dobbies has registered soaring sales and increased like for likes during the crucial golden quarter.

The garden centre chain posted a 44% surge in total sales during the nine weeks to December 29, 2019, compared with the same period the previous year.

The specialist retailer said its results were increased due to transaction volume and growth in customer basket size in both its retail and restaurant positions.

Dobbies chief executive Graeme Jenkins said: “Dobbies’ Christmas trading continued to reflect the positive momentum we have delivered this year. Driving our like-for-like sales performance was double-digit sales growth across many key categories including Christmas decorations (16%), artificial trees (29%), toys (17%) and crackers (16%).

“We saw a similarly strong performance for our restaurants, with over 135,000 children visiting Santa at one of our Christmas events.”

Chair Andrew Bracey said: “Dobbies’ Christmas performance with sales up 44% and like-for-like growth of 6% is very encouraging. This important trading period followed the acquisition and successful integration of 31 new garden centres last year, seeing Dobbies double in size. We are delighted with the performance of the team.”