RETAILER John Lewis has revealed it enjoyed a record-breaking end to 2012, with takings up by nearly 15 per cent on a year earlier.

The firm, which has a flagship department store in Southampton's WestQuay Shopping Centre, said its like-for-like sales were up by 25.5 per cent in the five weeks to December 29, compared to the same period two years ago.

Bosses at the John Lewis Partnership, which also runs Waitrose supermarkets, said online sales also leapt by 44.3 per cent on 2011.

Overall, the company said it took £684.8m in the run-up to Christmas and first week of the sales, a 14.8 per cent increase on the same time last year.

Managing director, Andy Street said: "I am delighted that John Lewis has delivered record breaking sales figures over the Christmas period and the first five days of Clearance.

“In an economic climate which continues to be volatile, to have achieved these results is testimony to the strength of the John Lewis brand and the commitment of all our Partners to give outstanding service.

"Above all, our success can be attributed to the inspiring and innovative products we offer our customers coupled with their trust that we will always provide the best quality and value and will always fulfil our 'never knowingly undersold' promise."