Unexpectedly large orders of confectionery and cakes for new year promotions have helped Scottish supplier Lees Foods post a record year of trading.

The company, which owns Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery, announced group sales growth of 13% to £18.2m for the past year, up from £16.1m in 2008.

The rise in sales is 5% ahead of market forecasts and was down to strong sales in the run up to Christmas and “an unexpected increase” in the number of retailers ordering stock for January sales.

Lees chief executive Clive Miquel said pre-tax profits for 2009 would also be well ahead of market expectations.

“In the current economic climate our strategy has been to focus on our core operations and this, combined with the development of new products allowing us to sell into new product categories, has resulted in a record year for sales.”