Booker-supplied retailers outperformed most of the major multiples and convenience chains over the Christmas period.

Latest figures reveal that the wholesaler’s total sales in the 16 weeks to December 30 rose by 7% compared with the same period last year.

Non-tobacco sales were 6.7% higher, while tobacco sales jumped 7.6%, driven by increased customer numbers and a higher average spend per customer, the company reported.

Retail sales director Steve Fox attributed the results to Booker’s value-for-money proposition and the success of its Farm Fresh fruit and vegetable range.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s sales rose by a more modest 2.1% in the 14 weeks to January 7, while Marks & Spencer reported a 4.5% increase in food sales for the 13 weeks to December 31.

Sales at the Co-operative Group for the last 13 weeks of the year were more disappointing. The retailer posted a 0.2% decline in like-for-like food sales for the period. However, business did pick up significantly in the final four weeks before Christmas, with sales increasing by 3.1%.

Tesco fared worst of all the leading retailers with like-for-like sales in the UK down 2.3% in the six weeks to January 7.