Thorntons revealed its revenue edged up 2.3% to £46.8m in the 14 weeks to October 3  as it reports it is in a in a “good position” for Christmas.

Own store like-for-like sales grew 1.3% while total sales increased 1.9% to £27.1m.

Franchise sales declined 15.2% to £2.9m as a result of greetings card retailer Birthdays falling into administration in May.  Thorntons operated in 94 Birthdays outlets.

Thorntons Direct sales increased 2.4% to £1.1m. The retailer expects its new website, which goes live this week, will drive this growth.

Commercial sales jumped 7.2% to £15.7m against strong comparatives last year, when Throntons was selling into Woolworths, one of the chocolatier’s largest customers at the time.

Thorntons chief executive Mike Davies said: “We are pleased to report satisfactory trading in the first quarter, particularly as the comparative period included both Woolworths and Birthdays as customers. We are in the process of adding several products to our offering and have just launched the new Christmas range in our stores. We continue to innovate and improve our performance which puts us in a good position ahead of our key Christmas trading period.”