Swedish confectioner Cloetta has seen a jump in first-quarter profits on the back of improved sales.

Operating profit for the first quarter improved by SEK11m (US$1.5m) to SEK44m.

Sales rose by 7% to SEK332m, excluding last year's sales of Fazer products that were discontinued following the demerger.

"The first quarter is the most important from an earnings perspective, since it includes the Christmas sales," said Cloetta's CEO Curt Petri. "Our good results for the period were achieved through strong sales, successful product launches and efficient production."

During the three months, Cloetta relaunched its Tarragona chocolate bar in three varieties,  introduced of a new assorted chocolate box and Cloetta's Juleskum.

The company also closed its office in Stockholm to "gather all development and marketing resources" in Ljungsbro, Petri said. "This closeness will provide scope for greater focus, higher efficiency and faster decisions," he added.