Thorntons says trading remained challenging despite tasting a ten per cent rise in half-year profits.
Pre-tax profits rose to £ 13.3 million in the six months to January 8, with most turnover growth coming from sales through other retailers amid "difficult" Christmas trading.
Thorntons is now pinning its hopes on a satisfactory Easter performance in order to meet full-year market expectations.
Chairman Christopher Burnett said: "The retail environment remains both competitive and challenging and the second six months performance, as usual, will depend on the sales achieved over Easter."
The group was lifted by its strategy of selling confectionery to other retailers, with sales to other stores increasing by £ 9.8 million to £ 13.4 million in the six months. Thorntons chocolates are now stocked by stores such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, WH Smith and Woolworths, following a strategy change aimed at halting a five-year run of declining profits.
The company, based in Somercotes, Derbyshire, said that in the two years since it embarked on this strategy, sales to other stores had grown rapidly and should come in at around £20 million for the full year.
Mr Burnett said the company was continuing to monitor the progress of this, in order to ensure it was not adversely affecting the Thorntons brand.
Total group sales increased by 9.5 per cent in the six months to £119.7 million.
Sales at the firm's own stores fell by 0.3 per cent to £85.4 million although there were 11 fewer shops than last year. Thornton's shares closed at 1561/2p up 3p.