Sales at Landmark Wholesale have increased by 6.3% over the past year.

The growth was led by strong sales of soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco, although sales through the buying group's biggest 80 suppliers showed that the majority of categories grew in value in 2009. Soft drink sales increased by 24.2% , while cider sales increased by 18.9%. Cigarettes grew 13.8% to outstrip the overall tobacco market, which was up only 1.3%.

"These results show that Landmark Wholesale is in a healthy and solid position to build future success as the UK turns the corner out of the recession," said MD Martin Williams. "While you cannot deny that the past year has been a difficult time for businesses in general, the results of our top 80 supplier sales confirm that Landmark Wholesale, its members and the independent sector are performing strongly."

He added that Landmark had continued to grow sales in 2010 and that the relaunch of its Lifestyle Express programme would add to its momentum.

"Such strong sales growth at the start of the new year can be used as a platform to drive the group forward in what will be an extremely significant period for us," he said.