Convenience store retailer The Southern Co-operative saw a like-for-like (LFL) sales increase of 4.7% across the three weeks to 3 January.

According to the group’s Christmas trading results, a total sales increase of 5.4% was recorded across the three weeks to 3 January and, during the Christmas week itself, LFL sales grew by 7.7% across its store estate – it served around 80,000 additional customers.

In-store bakery products were a strong performer for the group, growing by 9% in LFL sales.

Chief executive Mark Smith said: “These are our best Christmas trading results for some years, reflecting the hard work and enthusiasm of our colleagues across The Southern Co-operative. Our latest figures build on an improving trend in our sales during the autumn and provide an ideal platform for us to enter 2016 from.”

Other regional baking results

Lincolnshire Co-op reported its biggest ever combined sales of £7m, representing an LFL growth of 3.7%. Gadsby’s bakery (a wholly owned subsidiary of Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited) produced 57,000 mince pies and, on Christmas Eve, despatched a record 119,000 bread rolls.

East of England Co-operative reported an increased turnover of 3.4% LFL for the three weeks ending 2 January. Locally sourced mince pies from its Leggs Bakery saw sales increase by 19%.

Mince pies were among the Christmas Eve top sellers across the group nationally, with sales up 37%.