Nisa-Today's has reported a bumper Christmas with double-digit sales well ahead of the multiples.

The buying group said sales were up 11.1% by value in December. Confectionery sales soared 14.4%, with ambient up 11.5%, chilled up 9.9% and frozen up 9.1%.It added it had passed the £1bn turnover mark in a record nine months, with sales up £83m year-on-year.

Consumers had turned to their local stores rather than battle through the snow to big supermarkets, claimed John Sharpe, managing director of central distribution trading.

"While the bad weather made for challenging deliveries in December, Nisa has achieved admirable trading figures for the month," he said. "The £1bn turnover comes just nine months into the financial year and we look forward to another year of record turnover."

Nisa-Today's retailers also reported strong sales. Harry Tuffins said like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 6% in the month to 24 December. "We were pleased with the results given the difficult weather and trading conditions," said MD Paul Delves.

The retailer has just received planning permission to refit a store in Malpas, Cheshire, that it acquired last March. It will convert the garage site to a 2,900 sq ft c-store and fuel station.

Nisa-Today's launched its first national TV ad campaign on 27 December. It has so far been viewed by an estimated 14.5 million people. The group hopes its push will lure both new shoppers and new retailers.