Shares in UK chocolate maker Thorntons fell almost 8% today (23 April) after the company said its own-store sales growth had slowed during its fiscal third quarter.

Like-for-like sales at Thorntons stores inched up 0.5% during the three months to 19 April, compared to growth of 1.2% during the company’s second quarter.

On a consolidated basis, store sales rose 5.1% to GBP33.8m (US$66.9m).

Thorntons shares stood at GBP138.50 at 14:04 BST, down 7.8%.

Thorntons insisted the figure was “a pleasing result” given the short Easter selling season this year.

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The company’s total sales during the third quarter climbed 8.5% to GBP52.4m.

Chief executive Mike Davies said costs had increased “marginally ahead of expectations” but added: “We are confident that we will deliver a satisfactory outcome for the full year.”

Commercial sales rose 14.5% to GBP12.8m thanks to new listings, while sales at Thorntons Direct climbed 27.7% to GBP2.2m.