Casual clothing retailer Fat Face today (9 January) hailed the resilience of its business, after a strong first half was followed by a "record" Christmas.

The company, which has 205 stores in the UK and Ireland, said sales in the six months to 1 December surged 11% to GBP85.7m (US$137.2m).

During the period it opened seven new stores and installed a new EPOS system.

"Fat Face made important market share gains whilst restoring the brand to a predominantly full price offer," a company statement said.

"A resilient first half has now been followed by a strong trading performance over the Christmas period," added chief executive Anthony Thompson.

"During the five weeks to 5 January, store sales increased by 11% and e-commerce sales by 65%, resulting in record sales across the board.

"We're now seeing the benefits of investing in quality, style and value for money and are on track to building a stronger business for better times."

The company said it remains cautious about the outlook for the rest of this year, but expects to open another 8-10 new stores in the next financial year.