Halving its minimum order size helped Majestic Wine to a strong Christmas, with UK like-for-like sales up 11.7% for the nine weeks to January 4.

The wine specialist said growth over the period came from all parts of the business, helped by last autumn’s switch of its minimum order from 12 to six bottles.

Chief executive Steve Lewis said sales of French wines have recovered following a two-year decline, champagne sales were up more than 10%, sales of fine wines soared 30% and online sales climbed 20%.

He added: “The six-bottle minimum order also had a marked impact. Of our existing active database, our customers are shopping with us more frequently, but we have also attracted a significant amount of new customers. It makes us much more accessible.”

Natalia Marisova, analyst at house broker Investec, said Majestic’s Christmas performance is “a resounding endorsement of the recently rolled-out lower minimum purchase requirement”.

She added that the trends in growth of new customers and future growth prospects underpinned her 7% pre-tax profit upgrade.

Lewis said Majestic had picked up some market share from the collapse of Threshers owner First Quench. He added if consumers are in work “they probably feel more affluent than they did a year ago” and are treating themselves because they “are fed up with being fed up”.

He said this year will continue to be highly competitive but “we are optimistic”.