Waitrose has posted a 5% rise in sales for the year to January 25 and a 4% rise on a like-for-like basis.

In the current year, Waitrose has seen an 8% sales increase and has expressed its interest at any supermarkets which could come onto the market as a result of the Safeway sale.

Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership , Sir Stuart Hampson, said: “With consolidation high on the retail agenda, both for food retailing and in the department store sector, we believe we are well positioned to benefit from any opportunities that may arise.”

Four new stores, including two new Food & Home formats in Canary Wharf and Cheltenham were opened by the supermarket during the year.

WaitroseDeliver its home shopping business now operates from 33 branches outside London, while online grocer Ocado, which handles deliveries in London and in which John Lewis has a 37% stake, built sales and margins, the group said.

The John Lewis Partnership reported a 5% rise in group turnover to £4.7bn for the year.