Christmas trading figures at Foyles showed sales for December 2012 on a par with the same period in 2011, a performance described by c.e.o. Sam Husain as a "satisfactory outcome" in a challenging climate.
Figures for 1st-24th December were down 2% in value year-on-year, with "bricks and mortar" sales, excluding sales from the Foyles website, down 3.7% on 2011. There was "strong" sales growth from Foyles at Westfield Stratford City and at Foyles.co.uk.
Friday 21st December was the single busiest day of the Christmas period, while the sale period between Christmas and New Year proved "exceptionally strong, with revenue well ahead of last year," the mini-chain said.
E-book sales also grew, Foyles added, with Nook devices selling "steadily".
The Foyles top five bestsellers for Christmas were Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow (Penguin), Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate), Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ebury), The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (Hesperus) and Kitchen Diaries II by Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate).
Fifty Sheds of Grey by C T Grey (Boxtree), Infographica by Martin and Simon Toseland (Quercus), The Cycling Anthology by Ellis Bacon and Lionel Birnie (Peleton) and Horologicon by Mark Forsyth (Icon), also did well.
Husain said: "We are happy with our Christmas trading, given the challenging climate and the difficulties surrounding the Tottenham Court Road underground station development."
He added: "We expect 2013 to be equally challenging but are convinced there will be continuing demand for bookshops whose engaged, knowledgeable booksellers are eager to share their passion for books with readers. With the publishing schedules of 2013 already full of titles that we're excited about, were confident we'll continue to tap into customers' ongoing appetite for reading, in particular as the on- and offline worlds consistently provide new and interesting platforms for promotion."
In December, Foyles reported an annual sales increase of 2.8% to £23.5m to 30th June 2012 (£22.8m in previous year), but with annual profits falling 25.5% to £152,552 (£204,681 in 2011). It was the fourth consecutive year the business had recorded a profit.