Thorntons will open five new-format stores next month after posting a like-for-like sales increase of 3.6 per cent for the 10 weeks to June 28, writes Jennifer Creevy.

The confectioner will open the first shop in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London and review the trial after Christmas. Thorntons chief executive Mike Davies said innovation had enabled the retailer to continue to deliver growth.

“The market is tough at the moment, but our innovation in terms of product and store layout, along with customer service, has meant we can report good sales growth for the seventh consecutive quarter,” he said.

Thorntons’ full-year sales climbed 11.9 per cent to£208.1 million. Total company sales rose to£28.6 million in the quarter, up 7.9 per cent on an underlying basis.

Kaupthing analyst Matthew McEachran said: “Overall this is a solid statement, but general footfall and spending trends appear likely to weaken as the year progresses.”