UK retailer Waitrose has booked a rise in sales during fiscal 2012, marking its fourth consecutive year of market share growth.

The company revealed today (7 March) that sales in the 12 months to the end of January increased by 6.7% to GBP5.76bn (US$8.66bn). Like-for-like sales were up 3.4%.

The group said growth accelerated in the second-half as its investment in pricing took effect. Waitrose also invested in innovation, launching or improving 4,700 products, and online expansion, with e-commerce sales up 49% in the year.

Higher sales enabled Waitrose to grow its market share of total UK grocery sales from 4.7% to 4.9%.

Even as the upmarket chain invested in inproving its offering and lowering prices, it was still able to grow margins, with operating profit up 12.2% in the year to GBP292.3m.

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By GlobalData