Another fall for Thorntons sales

Thorntons' new chocolate eggs drove a "successful Easter trading period", but this could not offset another fall in underlying sales in the chain's own stores in its latest trading period.

The chocolatier, which has started to exit up to 180 stores, issued three profit warning last year, ditched its recent interim dividend and saw its shares fall as low as 9.5p in January.

While like-for-like sales at Thorntons' own stores fell again by 1.6 per cent over the 16 weeks 28 April, this represented a significant improvement on the 5.5 per cent slump in its first half.

Total sales at Thorntons, including the impact of store closures, fell 2.7 per cent to £62.4m. Its shares fell 3 per cent to close at 24.75p.