Upmarket jeweller Theo Fennell experienced a 25% like-for-like sales surge over the Christmas trading period, from December 1 – 24.

In the nine months to December 31 like-for-like sales rose 9%. However, sales in January have been hit by the “extreme weather conditions”, resulting in “little customer traffic” in its stores and concessions.

Theo Fennell said that while the affect of the weather on the retailer’s overall results for the year is “not significant”, the jeweller now expects to record a “marginal loss” for the year.

However, the retailer said this marginal loss would be a “significantly improved performance” compared to last year, when it revealed a £3m loss.

It said it now has a “strong wholesale base from which to expand”, with sales in this division “more than double” compared to last year. The retailer has new partners in Moscow and expects to trade “elsewhere in the early part of 2010”.

Theo Fennell chairman Rupert Hambro said: “We are pleased with the business turnaround achieved so far and the positive reception to Theo’s new designs by both existing and new customers.

“This resulted in a strong sales performance over the key Christmas trading period.

“Although we continue to be conscious of the potential impact of the fragile economic environment on the Company’s performance, we are confident of a significantly improved result for this year compared to last year. We believe we now have the firm foundations for the future recovery of the business.”