Retail news round-up: Matalan reports rise in sales, and last-minute Christmas rush boosts UK retail sales

Matalan posts rise in sales

Matalan has reported a 12.9% increase in full-price sales and 69% rise in online sales over the 13 weeks to November 26, The Telegraph reported.

However, total sales dropped from £302.5m to £299.4m compared with a year earlier.

Matalan posted an improvement in cash position in an attempt to relieve the growing fears over its financial position.

The underlying earnings during the period increased to £35.1m and closing cash position rose to £95.6m from £60.5m compared with a year ago.

The company saw a 29.1% increase in full-price sales for the five weeks to December 31. However, total sales fell from £136.5m to £132.6m.

The retailer expects to make underlying earnings of between £75m and £77m for the full year compared with £56.5m last year.

Last-minute Christmas rush boosts UK retail sales

Like-for-like sales in December increased 1% compared with 0.1% a year earlier, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG survey, The Guardian reported.

However, online sales of non-food items increased 7.2% compared with 15.1% a year earlier.

Total retail sales increased 1.7% in December compared with a 1% rise a year ago.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said trading over Christmas had exceeded expectations after getting off to a slow start.

"It was a polarised month as shoppers held out for the Christmas week, which saw sales up around 40% compared with the other weeks of the month.

"Food sales were the major contributor to total growth, while non-food sales on the other hand were sluggish overall, despite a strong performance by categories driven by gifting items."

Quiz reports increase in sales

Quiz has reported a 19.2% year-on-year rise in sales from October 1 to December 31 owing to the Black Friday and Christmas trading periods, Drapers reported.

The clothing chain's online sales increased 75% and like-for-like sales at its UK and Ireland stores were up 6.7%.

Pre-tax profit grew 17% to £5.7m, with revenue up from £78.2m to £87.4m for the year to March 31.