Chocolate maker Thorntons has revealed a 6.4% rise in quarterly sales as consumers continued to buy treats in the economic downturn.
Price rises also boosted the chain after own store sales improved by 4.9% to £26.6 million in 14 weeks to October 4 - an increase of 0.9% on a like-for-like basis. Sales at franchise stores increased 2.4% to £3.4 million, while business through supermarkets and other retailers grew 11% to £14.5 million.
Today's figures represented the eighth quarter in a row of growth as the company continued to benefit from a renewed focus on its product range.
A spokeswoman said: "Thorntons has launched many new products over the last 18 months and brought in five concept stores. In each of these stores the product is central, it's easier to navigate and in each store there is a chocolatier working in the window."
Mike Davies, Thorntons' chief executive, added: "We are pleased with the overall growth of 6.4% in the first quarter, particularly against the backdrop of our strongest quarter of growth last year and a difficult wider retail trading environment.
"Our financial position remains strong and we continue to grow in all channels."
The confectioner last month said new products and a brand overhaul helped increase its appeal to consumers, while it has also launched new product areas such as ice cream in a bid to reduce dependency on Christmas and Easter.
Mr Davies said a television commercial also improved perception of the brand, which was recently recognised as the UK's 18th strongest.
The Derbyshire-based company has around 380 stores and another 250 sites run on a franchise basis.