YORKSHIRE family business Bettys marked a positive start to its centenary year with a successful Christmas, achieving a year on year increase on sales of 6.3 per cent.

In a time of challenging trading conditions, Bettys saw the numbers of customers visiting its branches grow by 2.4 per cent. Customer spend in the branches was also higher than last Christmas.

Online sales also saw strong growth, increasing by 11.1 per cent year-on-year with a total of 55,050 parcels sent through the Christmas period – hampers being some of the biggest sellers.

Bettys’ Christmas treats remained a favourite with 93,500 Bettys mince pies were sold online. In the cafes, tradition reigned with almost 18,000 people taking Bettys’ afternoon tea over the festive period.

Bettys’ managing director, Simon Eyles, said: ‘‘For one hundred years Bettys has created a distinctive and unique customer experience. Our Christmas demonstrated that a visit to Bettys remains an important part of people’s Christmas traditions. The vision of our founder, Frederick Belmont, still guides us and, in our one hundredth year, it is wonderful to see that Bettys still means as much to people today as it did when it opened in 1919.”