Waitrose has reported full-year results showing like-for-like sales up 3.6%.

Operating profits before property gains increased by more than a quarter (26.8%) to £268.2m, while total sales rose 9% to £4.5bn as a result of new store openings and the introduction of new formats.

Waitrose said it had attracted 400,000 more shoppers in 2009 than for the previous year, with average basket size up 8.4%.

The retailer also claimed it had drawn in new shoppers through its £25m investment in its Essential Waitrose line.

The value brand, launched in March 2009, currently accounts for 17% of sales and is on track to generate revenue of £750m in the coming year.

Waitrose also said its stores in Dubai were “performing well” and announced plans for new stores in Bahrain, Oman and Abu Dhabi for later this year.

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