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Aldi sales reach record £1bn at Christmas

·Finance and policy reporter
ALDI Stapleford in Nottingham Grand Opening with manager Kevin Males (DEP MGR RAFEL ORDONEZ STANDING IN), and Team GB athlete Katherine Sarah Copeland MBE British Olympic Gold Medal winning rower, and friends form Fairfield Primary Academy
Aldi enjoyed record Christmas sales. Photo: Aldi/Mark Waugh Manchester Press Photography Ltd

Aldi enjoyed a record-breaking Christmas as its festive sales broke through the £1bn mark for the first time.

The German discount chain said total sales in the four weeks to 24 December leapt 7.9% on the previous year.

Sparkling wine sales, from prosecco to champagne, soared by more than 14% and total alcohol sales were up 9.2%, according to Britain’s fifth largest grocery chain.

Giles Hurley, CEO of Aldi UK, said sales of its premium ‘specially selected’ range had “surpassed expectations,” up almost 8% year-on-year.

“Customers snapped up these products for a fraction of the price they would have paid elsewhere,” he said.

READ MORE: UK shoppers delay Christmas shopping as sales slow

He added: “More customers than ever before shopped with us this Christmas because they knew Aldi offered unbeatable value on premium products and the lowest prices on festive essentials.”

The retailer said it sold 55 million mince pies, 22 million pigs-in-blankets and more than 2 million Christmas puddings. Sales of British meat, such as turkey and beef roasting joints, were also reported to be almost 8% higher.

Share of UK grocery sales in the 12 weeks to 1 December 2019. Chart: Kantar
Share of UK grocery sales in the 12 weeks to 1 December 2019. Chart: Kantar

The chain is currently expanding rapidly in the UK, with plans to increase from its current 874 stores to 1,200 by the middle of the new decade.

The latest closely watched sales figures from market research firm Kantar showed Aldi enjoying year-on-year growth of 6.2% in the 12 weeks to 1 December.

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The discounter is one of Britain’s fastest-growing supermarkets, luring customers away from more established chains in recent years.

It is now the largest supermarket outside the traditional ‘Big Four’ of Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury’s SBRY.L), Asda and Morrisons, which all saw their sales decline in the Kantar survey figures.

Morrisons is set to publish its latest financial results on Tuesday, with Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Marks & Spencer also set to update investors later this week.