Sales through supermarket chains have again bolstered revenue at UK chocolate firm Thorntons.

The company today (9 October) posted a 2.1% increase in sales to GBP47m for the 14 weeks to 5 October, the first quarter of its financial year.

Revenue from Thorntons’ FMCG division, which includes sales to supermarkets, was up 11% at GBP23.8m.

The FMCG business has boosted Thorntons in recent years as its retail stores suffered. It is now Thorntons’ biggest business by sales.

Thorntons is trying to improve its retail operation by closing stores and improving those that remain. Retail sales in the quarter were down 5.7% on the back of stores closing but like-for-like sales were lower year-on-year, falling 0.4%.

Chief executive Jonathan Hart said: “We are pleased with the performance of both our operating divisions in the first quarter, and we have made further good progress in rebalancing revenues towards our FMCG division.”