UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer Thorntons has seen a jump in third-quarter sales, boosted by market share gains.

In a trading update this morning (24 April), Thorntons said total third-quarter sales were up 4% to GBP60.6m (US$92.5m). The company said it was “pleased” with a “satisfactory” result in this key trading period – which includes Easter, Mothers Day and Valentine’s Day.

Over the last 52 weeks, Thorntons emphasised it grew its share of the total boxed market in the UK from 11.7% to 12.2%. The company has also expanded its Easter Specialities range – expanding its share of total Easter sales from 4% to 4.7% year-on-year.

While total sales at its own stores dropped 4.1% as a result of store closures, LFL sales were up 0.2%. Commercial sales were up 10% in the period as the group continues to refocus its portfolio to sales through third party retailers such as supermarkets.

The company also saw a decrease in online sales, but has assured the market that this is a short-term issue caused by technical problems on its website.