Big Food Group said total third quarter like-for-like sales rose 2% to December 26 with a 3.2% surge in the 5 weeks to January 2.

High street chain Iceland returned to a more promotional strategy with growth of 1.9% over the festive period driven by its Party Fayre and a £10 Christmas Dinner meal deal.

A further 26 stores have been refurbished under its new concept format which has greater focus on grocery and fresh produce. The new store format total stands at 119, to be increased to 200 by the next financial year.

Analysts at Numis Securities said the rationale behind its Londis bid was in line with BFG’s strategy to create a fully integrated food group with a distribution network to service neighbourhood stores.

Numis noted that in terms of geographic overlap out of 2,200 Londis stores and 1,059 Premier stores only 150 are affected.