By Daniel Hunter

Chocolate maker Thorntons have reported a decline in sales as the impact of their store closure programme took full effect.

Coupled with difficult a trading environment, the store closures have seen sales down 2.7% to £62.4m in the 16 weeks to 28 April.

The company shut down an additional 11 stores in the period as part of its closure programme.

Jonathan Hart, Thorntons' chief executive, said that despite a good performance at Easter, "the difficult consumer environment continues".

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