Thorntons has bucked the high street gloom to report a pre-tax profit boost of 19.6 per cent to £8.5 million in its preliminary results.

For the 52 weeks to June 28, Thorntons increased revenue by 11.9 per cent to£208.1 million and sales growth was achieved across all its channels.

Thorntons chief executive Mike Davies said: “Underpinning this growth is the strategy we have been implementing to return Thorntons to sustainable, long-term profitability by investing in the brand, developing innovative products, modernising the in-store environment and attracting and retaining the best people.”

The chocolatier’s retail stores recorded like-for-like growth in every quarter, resulting in sales of£135.1million. It has 379 stores and is committed to its goal of reaching 400.

The franchise stores’ business grew 14.5 per cent to£14.9 million, with a total of 250 stores. The commercial sales business rose 33.8 per cent to£49.5 million and Thorntons Direct grew 26.6 per cent to£8.6 million.

During the year, Thorntons developed new products, opened a new concept store and expanded its Direct business. It also appointed Keith Hurdman as its master chocolatier, who has been trained by confectioners in Belgium, Switzerland and France.

Thorntons wants to increase its share of the UK chocolate market by more than 50 per cent. Sales represent approximately 6 per cent of the market at present. It wants to reduce its dependency on Christmas with year-round ranges such as ice cream, and improve its operating profit margin.

Davies said: “The board is pleased with the continuing progress of the company during the first few weeks of the new financial year.”