Majestic Wine notched up a 5.1% increase in total UK store sales over the Christmas period, despite the “challenging” market.

Like-for-like sales in the seven weeks to 31 December rose 1.1%, the wine warehouse chain said in a trading update this morning.

Majestic said this meant like-for-like sales growth for the first 39 weeks of the year was 0.8%.

“While we saw encouraging sales growth over the period, the Christmas trading season was challenging with many consumers leaving their shopping until the very last moment,” said CEO Steve Lewis.

Analysts were encouraged by the update.

“Majestic has a strong management team, offers future growth from both new stores and online, and delivers a good free cash flow and dividend yield,” said Investec analyst Bethany Hocking.

“The service focused business model should lead to continued market share gains and new customers, in our view.”