Supermarket Morrisons has said it enjoyed an "especially strong" festive season as it posted a 2.1% hike in sales after keeping a lid on price rises for cash-strapped shoppers.
The chain said the like-for-like retail sales performance in the 10 weeks to January 7 came as it resisted hiking prices despite surging costs, with the price of a basket of key Christmas items the same as last year.
For the crucial six-week Christmas and New Year period, same-store retail sales picked up pace, rising by 2.8%, Morrisons said.
Including a 0.7% rise in wholesale trading, group like-for-like sales excluding fuel rose 2.8% over the 10 weeks, while online sales at Morrisons.com grew by more than 10%.
Morrisons kicks off the festive trading updates from the Big Four supermarkets with a better-than-expected set of numbers.
Analysts had pencilled in a 1.7% rise in group comparable sales.
David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: "More and more customers found more things they wanted to buy at competitive prices at Morrisons this Christmas.
"Our plans to become a broader and stronger business are progressing well, with another period of positive like-for-like sales and the start of the rolling programme to supply McColl's," he added.