Luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason shrugged off the effect of the supermarket price wars, posting record profits for the third year in a row. The Piccadilly-based business said net profit jumped 27% to £6.2m ($8m) to the year to 10 July, on sales that also rose to an all-time high of £98.7m, a 12% increase on a year ago.
It said sales were boosted by its famous Fortnum & Mason hampers, popular at Christmas or on posh picnics, which lifted by 17% over the period.
Competition in the sector remains fierce, with budget rival Aldi last month launching its Exquisite Hamper for £98.37, filled with Christmas puddings, truffles and chocolates in mint green packaging, a colour the Fortnum's brand is associated with.
By contrast, Fortnum & Mason hampers range between £55 and £6,000 for the Imperial Hamper, which includes smoked salmon, Beluga Caviar, Foie Gras en Croute, a whole shoulder of pure-bred Maldonado ham and Cristal champagne.
Chief executive Ewan Venters said: "We are now anticipating a busy and successful Christmas period. As always, we expect this to be driven by sales of our world-famous hampers and of our Christmas food range."
The business also has outlets in St Pancras International train station and Heathrow airport's Terminal 5, and also ships products to 128 countries.