Chocolatier Thorntons said it expects full-year, pre-tax profits to be ahead of expectations following sales growth and “careful cost management”.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Thorntons said: “At the time of its trading update on 24 April, Thorntons stated that as a result of growing market share and improvement in margins due to actions taken over the past two years there was potential for further profit improvement in the final quarter.

“The Board is pleased to report that a combination of sales growth and careful cost management has enabled the additional profit potential to be realised and accordingly pre-exceptional profit before tax for the full year to 29 June, 2013 will be ahead of current market expectations.”

Current market consensus for Thorntons pre-tax profit is £4.6m.

It is the second time this year that Thorntons has raised expectations for its full-year profit figure, after reporting in April that third quarter total sales were better than expected after a strong Easter.

Thorntons is undergoing a three-year turnaround strategy under chief executive Jonathan Hart after a sustained period of falling sales and profits. In the year to June 30, 2012, pre-tax profit plummeted from £4.3m in 2011 to £900,000.

Hart’s plan includes shutting 120 company-owned stores over three years with the goal of creating a profitable business of between 180 and 200 shops.

Thorntons will provide a fourth quarter trading update on July 15. Its full-year results will be revealed on September 11.