Matalan’s festive sales jumped 3.1% but the retailer revealed EBITDA for the quarter before Christmas fell 8%.

The fashion retailer said it beat its record sales day by 20% during the four weeks to December 28. Online sales surged 22% in the period and Matalan said it increased full price sales.

But in the 13 weeks to November 30, Matalan’s EBITDA fell £3.8m to £41.5m. Total revenue was £321m, which compares to sales of £309.5m in the statutory comparative 13 weeks the previous year and £319.2m in the trading comparative period.

Matalan said its closing cash position was £59.2m.

Matalan managing director Jason Hargreaves said: “The focus in recent months on our ladieswear offer, product availability, and online growth delivered an improving trend through the period after a difficult start. We then carried this improvement through December.

“The market continues to be challenging and competitive. Whilst we are pleased with the recent improvement in sales we remain cautiously optimistic about the year ahead, although confident that the right initiatives are in place to further strengthen and grow the business.”

The update followed a profit warning last October from Matalan after warm weather hit sales of its autumn/winter collections.

At that time the privately owned value retailer revised its full-year operating profit guidance down to between £90m and £95m from £108m to £112m.