Fast fashion retailer Peacocks has reported a solid Christmas and secured a £20 mililon equity injection from its backers to fund expansion in 2009.

Peacocks notched up a 1 per cent like-for-like sales increase in the 14 weeks ending January 3. Like-for-likes soared by 22 per cent in the two weeks at the end of the period, covering the key Christmas and New Year weeks. Like-for-like gross margin was “strongly positive”, said the retailer.

Gross profit is “significantly” ahead of last year, Peacocks added. It said that stock was well controlled in the post-Christmas trading period and that clearance rates were expected to be ahead of last year.

Over the quarter total sales grew 8 per cent with like-for-like profit growth of 5 per cent.

Peacocks has secured£20 million from private equity owners Och Ziff and Perry Capital to invest in its store roll-out programme, which will create up to 750 new jobs, it added.

The retailer opened 25 core stores in the first nine months of the year to the end of December, 2008.

Chief executive Richard Kirk said: “Our formats are outperforming the market as shoppers want the exceptional value we provide, as our excellent Christmas period trading figures demonstrate.

“We are positive about the opportunities to expand our store portfolio on favourable terms and we have the financing in place to support our development plans. This is good news for all our stakeholders including suppliers, shareholders and colleagues, and above all, customers.”