Sales at Thorntons increased by 11.6% during the third quarter of the year.

The chocolate retailer said that own store sales increased by 2.3% during the three months to 14 April due to product innovation and further investment in its seasonal gift ranges.

Commercial sales to other retailers grew by 55.1%, while sales at Thorntons Direct increased by 17.2%.

“Thorntons has made continued progress in the third quarter following a difficult start to the year,” said Mike Davies, Thornton's chief executive.

“We are beginning to realise the benefits from the increased investment in our stores, the enhancement of our product innovation and the growth of commercial sales.”