UK food retailer Big Food Group has said that the decline in sales at its frozen food retail chain Iceland has begun to slow, helped by the re-introduction of “buy one get one free” deals.

Iceland, which accounts for 25% of BFG’s sales, said that in the five weeks to 3 January sales were down 2.1% year-on-year, compared with a 3.6% decline for the 13 weeks to 27 December, and a 7.7% drop in the previous quarter.

"This quarter has seen a significant change in Iceland sales performance," chief executive Bill Grimsey was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We are pleased with the margins being achieved and the momentum across the business as profitability continues to improve."

Big Food’s wholesale chain Booker has, however, experienced a decline in sales, pushing group sales down 2.8% in the five-week period and down 2.9% for the 13-week quarter.

Booker’s sales fell 3.5% in the five-week Christmas period and 2.8% over the quarter.