UK supermarket chain Waitrose has continued to show impressive sales growth both from established branches and from the new additions to its portfolio, the company said.

Like-for-like food sales at the John Lewis-owned firm were more than 5% ahead of last year, and total sales were just short of GBP1.8bn (US$3.4bn), up 11%.

Waitrose said it now holds a 17% share of the organic market, with sales of organic produce running 16% ahead of last year.

"We've seen our competitors keen to copy our approach on organics and on locally produced food, but the deeply rooted relationships between Waitrose and our supplier base, the innovation of our Bracknell team and the continuing focus on service in our shops will ensure the distinctiveness of our offer will enable us to earn the loyalty of our customers in the build-up to Christmas," the retailer added.

Waitrose was launched in Scotland during the six-month period, opening two branches in Edinburgh. The retailer also acquired three other branches from Somerfield - at Balham, Barbican and Buxton, along with a further acquired branch at Biggin Hill. A newly built branch opened at Bloomsbury, London.
 
It plans to add a further six acquired branches at Eastbourne, Formby, Hexham, Lymington, Parkstone and Southampton, and will open a new branch at Ampthill.