Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose has seen annual profits jump 22% over the last 12 months on the back of rising sales.

The company, part of the John Lewis retail group, posted operating profit of GBP38.3m (US$76.8m) for the year to 26 January. Sales rose 6.8% to GBP251.6m.

Waitrose pointed to its growth in niche food categories, including the organic and Fairtrade sectors. The company its share of UK organic sales stands at 18%, while it accounts for 8.6% of Fairtrade sales in the UK.

"Product quality is key to our success," the John Lewis Partnership said today (6 March).