UK department store operator House of Fraser today (12 January) reported a jump in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.

For the five weeks ended 31 December, like-for-like sales increased 11.1%, with the company reporting a "record sales performance" for December. Over the five-week period, online sales grew 124%.

A positive performance was seen in all product categories, house brands and concession partners, it said.

For the nine-weeks to 31 December, like-for-like sales increased 3.6%.

Company chairman Don McCarthy noted that the positive sales performance demonstrates the "success of House of Fraser's strategy to invest in the store portfolio, our online offer and to further develop house brands alongside our brand partners to provide a premium offer to our customers".

However, McCarthy added that it has been a "difficult season" with warmer weather in autumn and "excessive high street discounting through the period" which had an adverse effect on sales and put greater pressure on margins.

"We believe that 2012 will continue to be very challenging for the general economy and consumer confidence. Accordingly, we have developed more cautious plans in anticipation of our customer spending habits continuing to be more considered and remain confident in our strategy for the future," he added.