Ocado has defied the gloom engulfing retailers on the high street after announcing its best-ever Christmas sales figures – with business nearly doubling in the run-up to Christmas compared to last year.

The online retailer said sales for the week before Christmas had risen by 97% compared to 2007, raking in £2m in the three days before Christmas Eve.

Sales for the four weeks to 3 January rose by 25%.

“Our pace of growth is incredibly exciting as it shows we are growing through a tough recession,” said Ocado finance director Jason Gissing. “The internet is thriving and I think that Ocado, now in its eighth year of trading, reflects that trend.”

He added: “We're still a minnow in food retailing, but there's lots more we aim to do and the signs are very encouraging.”

The news comes after Ocado announced at the end of last year that it was launching its own cut-price Everyday range spanning 21 staple products.