Foodservice giant Brakes grew its sales and reduced its pre-tax losses last year in what it described as a "strong performance".

Sales at the UK business increased by 6.9% to £1.7bn in the year ending December 2009, helped by the acquisition of Woodward Foodservice and FreshFayre in the UK and O'Kane Foodservice in Ireland, according to accounts released this week at Companies House.

The group's pre-tax losses, which include its French business, narrowed from £104.7m to £68.2m.

"The accounts are a good set of numbers and represent a good operational performance, especially given the economic climate," said chief finance officer Matthew Fearn. "EBITDA has grown 8.7% to £151.5m and that's the measure we think is best to judge the business on. The underlying performance is very strong and there was a significant improvement in the pre-tax loss."