Lees Foods has posted an increase in 2009 sales boosted by an "unexpected" rise in year-end stock orders.

The UK baker posted "record" sales at its Lees of Scotland and Waverley Bakery in a trading update today (6 January), with group sales up 13% to GBP18.2m (US$29.2m).

The firm said 2009 sales are around 5% ahead of current market forecasts due to "exceptionally strong" sales in the lead up to Christmas and helped by an "unexpected" increase in the number of customers ordering stock at the year end for January promotions.

Continuing pre tax profits for 2009 are expected to be well ahead of market expectations, Lees Foods said.

"We are pleased to report a strong second half performance in 2009 that has led to excellent sales both at Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery. In the current economic climate our strategy has been to focus on our core operations, and this combined with the development of new products allowing us to sell into new product categories, has resulted in a record year for sales at Lees," Clive Miquel, chief executive, commented.