Waitrose has posted record Christmas trading figures as shoppers sought premium food and utilised the grocer’s strong multichannel offer.

Waitrose reported a 4.1% increase in like-for-like sales and a 6.5% bump in total sales in the 12 trading days to December 31.

For the five-week period ending on Christmas Eve, total sales excluding fuel rose 5.4% to £736m and rose 3.1% on a like-for-like basis.

The grocer enjoyed its biggest ever takings on a single day on December 23 with an average of 22,000 items going through checkouts every minute and it took £51m.

Waitrose recorded a 33.4% rise in online grocery sales and 619,000 collections of online orders were made in the five-week period.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “Every year retailers say that Christmas is late, but with some justification in 2013 as customers phased their shopping in line with the mid-week fall of the main festivities.

“Our performance this Christmas continues our sustained growth for the last five years. We’ve done well by giving people exactly what they want - high quality products, excellent value and superb service both in our shops and online.”

Waitrose’s premium own-label Heston range rose 46.4%, its Menu From range increased 45.6% and its Seriously range of sweet treats was up 22.7% over the five-week period. Duchy Originals sales rose 9.2% over the period.