Online retailer Virgin Wines grew sales 15.4% in the run up to Christmas, making it the best festive trading period in its history.

It shipped an extra 40,000 cases on the previous year in the nine weeks to December 30, 2016, and profits rose 35% to £1.3 million.

A focus on corporate sales led to revenue growth of 110% in this side of the business, while the company’s gift initiative,, grew year-on-year sales by 137%.

Virgin recently started offering free delivery to customers using its Wine Bank loyalty scheme and 16,000 new customers joined the initiative over the nine-week period.

Overall it signed up 25,000 new customers and Prosecco was the star performer, with 133,000 bottles sold in the build up to Christmas.

Chief executive Jay Wright said: “This was an outstanding Christmas period for Virgin Wines, with every area of the business performing exceptionally well and many seeing a rise in growth well above our expectations.

“There can be a temptation for businesses to simply chase revenue over the Christmas period, however we continued to focus on our plan for solid and sustainable business growth, which meant strong profit alongside strong revenue.

“To deliver this we focused on the needs of the customer, giving them exceptional service with great quality product at value for money prices, and it clearly paid off.

“We are looking forward to continuing this success into 2017 and beyond.”