UK department store retailer House of Fraser saw its Christmas sales climb 8.5% despite heavy snowfall during the period.

The company said in a trading update that margins rose 30bp for the five weeks to 8 January 2011.

A statement said: "This sales growth was in spite of the severe weather conditions experienced across much of the country which impacted trade in the lead up to Christmas."

House of Fraser said its house brands doubled growth during the festive period, while online sales rose 120%. Strong performance from newly refurbished stores bolstered like-for-like sales by 10%, a company statement said.

Don McCarthy, chairman of House of Fraser, said: "We are very pleased with our Christmas trading performance as we have delivered another outstanding set of results despite recent extreme weather conditions.

"These clearly demonstrate the success of our strategy in the face of economic uncertainty. I would like to thank John King, the management team, our staff and brand partners for their hard work and support over this period.

"The past year has seen solid growth on the back of significant development and investment in our brands, our technology, our estate, and most importantly, our people. However the full effect of these investments will be seen in the year ahead. I am confident that the business will deliver its plans for the remainder of the financial year, and we are well placed to continue to grow during 2011."