Thorntons has issued a downbeat fourth-quarter update, with sales at the chocolate maker continuing to fall.

Sales of Thorntons-branded products were down 1.1% in the three months to 26 June, with the confectioner’s retail operations bearing the brunt of the decline.

Overall sales for the quarter – traditionally the company’s slowest period of the year – were down 4.1% on 2009 to £26.8m.

Thorntons warned that it would be cutting 35 jobs from its head office over the next three months as part of staff restructuring scheme.

Its full results for the year will be published on 8 September.

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