Chocolate maker Thorntons has become the latest major name to suffer a Christmas slump after announcing a drop in like-for-like sales of almost 7% in its latest quarterly results.

Sales dropped by 6.6% on a like-for-like basis in the 12 weeks to 27 December, with overall sales down by 2.3% to £77.6m for the period.

Thorntons said it expects total profits for the six months to 10 January to be around £7m from pre-tax earnings of £14m.

“The retail environment has been very challenging in recent months with weak high street footfall and consumer demand,” said chief executive Mike Davies. “We are pleased to report that our policy of offering discounts in line with other retailers has meant that we were able to clear all Christmas stock by the end of the period.”

Davies added: “We remain focused on delivering against our strategy of long-term profitable growth through product innovation, improving the in-store environment and excellent customer service but with even greater focus on managing our costs.”