Bakery sales rose 6.1% to £3,438m in 2006, above the average 3.6% growth seen in the grocery sector, according to new data from Information Resources (IRI).

IRI, which tracks sales data from the major supermarkets says that bakery sales were worth £3,438m in the 52 weeks to December 30.

That compares to an average 3.6% growth across the grocery retailers whose sales were tracked. Sales in the grocery sector were worth £84,743m in 2006, IRI says.

In the food sector, fresh fish saw the strongest sales growth, up 11.2% to £1,022m. Frozen food sales fell by 0.3% to £3,765m.