The early Easter helped boost retail sales figures for March. Sales were up by 4.4 per cent year-on-year, with food sales leading the march with a 6.6 per cent jump. But a direct comparison with last year is skewed because of earlier Easter egg sales. Retail administrations for the first quarter were also down by 65 per cent year-on-year. The number of retail companies falling into administration in the first quarter of this year fell to 44 compared with 124 in 2009. It is now at the lowest level in four years, according to research by Deloitte.