UK department store operator House of Fraser today (7 January) reported record sales over the Christmas period, with like-for-like sales rising 6.3%.

Sales increased across all of the group's categories during the six weeks to 5 January, with a strong performance in fashion and beauty. House brands were up 10%.

The retailer posted "record breaking" online sales, jumping 48%. It also saw record sales in the fortnight prior to Christmas.

For the first ten weeks of the fourth quarter, like-for-like sales, excluding VAT, were up 5.2%.

Company chairman Don McCarthy said: "The positive sales trends experienced in our third quarter have continued throughout the festive period and we are pleased to report another record performance despite a more competitive environment."

The performance demonstrates the steps House of Fraser has taken to improve its online offer, develop house brands and invest in stores, McCarthy emphasised.

"There is no doubt that 2012 was a challenging year in retail and it remains difficult to predict when economic conditions and consumer sentiment will improve.

"However, with the strong sales performance in the period and a close focus on margins and operational efficiencies, we expect to report growth in full year earnings in line with previous indications.

"Given the sales performance, we also expect to finish the year with a cleaner stock position and are well placed to deliver further growth in 2013."