Rise in sales at Thorntons

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Somercotes chocolate-maker Thorntons has announced a rise in sales.

In the 14 weeks to October 5, the company achieved sales of £47 million, an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Over the past three months, sales in Thorntons’ Fast Moving Consumer Goods division, which includes UK commercial, international and private label sales, increased by 11 per cent, to £23.8 million.

This performance helped offset the performance of its retail division, which includes its own stores, franchised outlets and its online business Thorntons Direct, which saw sales decline by 5.7 per cent, to £23.2 million.

In September, the firm announced its annual results for 2012/13, in which it reported a big increase in pre-tax profits, rising from £900,000 last year to £5.6 million.

Thorntons attributes the improvement to a strategy, launched in 2011, to reduce its number of high street stores and focus more on sales through supermarkets.