UK confectioner Thorntons has booked an increase in first-quarter revenues, boosted by performances from its commercial and online channels.

For the 14-week period to 2 October, total sales grew by 7.4% to GBP50.3m (US$80m), the firm reported today (6 October).

Sales of Thorntons-branded products increased by 9% to GBP49.9m, while the company’s commercial sales, which include sales to UK supermarkets, grew by 29.3% to GBP20.2m. Sales from the company’s online Thorntons Direct business rose 18.6% to GBP1.3m.

However, Thorntons’ sales in its own stores declined 4.3% year-on-year to GBP26m. On a like-for-like basis, own-stores sales dropped 4.1%.

Nonetheless, the company saw an improvement in its own-store sales on the previous quarter when sales declined 6.2% and like-for-like sales fell 6%.

John von Spreckelsen, Thorntons’ executive chairman, said: “We are pleased to report satisfactory trading in the first quarter, traditionally a quieter period for the company. The Franchise channel was negatively affected by the timing of Christmas deliveries; however underlying trading for the period was encouraging.”