Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose said today (5 August) that sales for the first half of 2011 had risen by more than 8%.

Waitrose said its sales increased 8.7% in the first 26 weeks of the year and said all its food categories were in growth in the period, led by chilled, fruit, vegetables and horticulture, bakery, which was up 9.4%. Ambient sales rose 8.4% and sales of meat, fish frozen and dairy climbed 8.1%.

The company, meanwhile, said  sales at its online division were up 15.9%.

The company did not release like-for-like trading figures and industry watchers would also question the impact that food inflation has had on the retailer’s sales.

The UK food industry has experienced a period of high inflation of late, although UK shop-price growth slowed in the last month, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).