CAFE and bakery business Bettys marked a positive start to its centenary year with a successful Christmas period, achieving a year on year increase on sales of 6.3 per cent.

In a time of challenging trading conditions on the high street, Bettys, which has cafes in Harrogate and St Helen's Square and Stonegate in York, 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’ traditional Christmas treats remained a favourite for customers: for example, 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.”

Bettys celebrates its 100th birthday this year.