Poundstretcher has reported a 10.4% increase in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period largely thanks to a huge increase in food sales.

The discount retailer said food sales were up 47.7% during the five weeks to 30 December helping drive a total sales increase of 14.8%. It attracted more than seven million shoppers to its 409 UK stores, up 10% on the same period last year.

“The leading business growth focus for us is to do what we do best: continue to sell big brand food, toiletry and household goods at great prices,” said Poundstretcher managing director Ian York.

“We’ve also looked to give customers incredible value on homewares and this breadth of offering is really being welcome by cash conscious shoppers who shop around now for life’s essentials.”

Shoppers were also snapping up Poundstretcher’s clothes, with sales increasing by 25.8%, whilst sales of the 600 seasonal lines were up by 17%.

In its last available accounts Poundstretcher reported pre-tax profits of £1.35m for the year to 31 March 2014. This compared to a loss of £3.69m the previous year. Total sales were up 7,4% to £385.4m.