National lottery operator Camelot has reported record sales of £6.97bn, an increase of 6.9% on the year before.

It also chalked up its highest-ever annual returns to good causes, of £1.9bn, and prize payouts to players, of £3.7bn, in the year to 31 March 2013.

The figures also mean that retailers have now earned more than £4.7bn in total sales commission since the lottery’s launch in 1994 – with established independent retailers earning over £8,000 last year.

“The National Lottery broke all records in 2012/13 thanks to the invaluable help of all of our retailers,” said sales director Duncan Malyon.

“Looking ahead, we are determined to build on this year’s successes and the fantastic efforts of our retailers by ensuring that The National Lottery continues to bring real benefits to them – it’s a proven driver of footfall and sales, and has been shown to significantly boost their bottom lines.”

Camelot revealed in January that the price of a Lotto ticket will rise to £2 in the autumn – the first increase to the main game since 1994.