Sales rose 2.3% at Spar wholesaler Appleby Westward over Christmas.

Like-for-like sales in the five weeks to 3 January rose 2.4% thanks to strong double-digit growth from Spar branded produce, fresh meat and poultry.

In the first week of the new year alone, like-for-likes rose 17.8%.

“These are encouraging figures with which to start the year,” said MD Mark McCammond.

“We expect the challenging economic landscape to persist with consumers tightening their purse strings still further and retailers scrapping for sales. 

But we are well placed to help our retailers deliver a value offer and drive sales through helping them achieve better use of existing space.”