Julian Graves has announced strong trading results for the six weeks leading up to Christmas and new year. The specialist snack and ingredient retailer saw turnover increase 8.2% to £3.06m for 65 of its established high street stores, compared with the same period in 1999. Sales from the company's total portfolio of 90 stores ­ including 25 new outlets which opened in 2000 ­ showed an overall rise of 42% to £4.25m. Chief executive and co-founder Nick Shutts said: "In the past year we have enriched our range of nostalgic confectionery. At the same time, we have dropped space for consumer goods such as grains, lentils and rice, which were just not selling." The West Midlands company, operating "at the luxury end of the market", is planning to open a further 30 high street stores and a series of concessions in department stores and garden centre. {{NEWS }}