Thorntons , the speciality high street retailer and manufacturer of high quality chocolate, toffee and other confectionery, has today [Tuesday] reported strong sales figures for the 28 weeks ended 12 January 2002, with last minute Christmas shoppers bumping up turnover. CEO Peter Burdon commented: "I am extremely pleased to be able to report further evidence that progress is being made, in particular we are profitably growing sales in our own store network without seasonal overhang. The Christmas performance was strong and it demanded great teamwork and organisation to be able to deliver these results."