max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: Festive sales cheer Thornton

20:00 16 January 2013

A Thorntons shop in London

A Thorntons shop in London's Oxford Street

A big jump in sales of chocolate boxes through supermarkets helped Thorntons avoid a repeat of its previous year’s dismal Christmas performance today.


The group said commercial sales grew strongly by 26.4% to £34.7 million in the 14 weeks to January 12, against a 1.3% decline in like-for-like sales in its store estate.

Chief executive Jonathan Hart said he was pleased with overall progress, which compares favourably with the profits warning issued in the run up to the previous Christmas period.

He added: “We have grown market share and demonstrated the continued strength of the Thorntons brand despite a challenging economy and a weak confectionery market.”

The group is leading a drive to reduce reliance on Christmas and Easter as part of a turnaround that has seen it close 27 under-performing stores in the last year as its focuses on a core estate of 180 to 200 sites.

It currently has 317 own-stores and 189 franchise outlets.

Thorntons said its share of the market for boxed chocolates sold through commercial channels increased from 11.7% to 12.1% in the 14 week period as it looks to rebalance its routes to market.

With overall sales up by 5.4% to £88 million in the quarter, Mr Hart added that the company was on course to meet profit expectations for the year to June.

Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan said the update was a good one given the unhelpful economic conditions.

He added: “This is quite a contrast to last year, when Thorntons issued a profit warning before Christmas and a clear sign that its strategic plan to rebalance its sales towards commercial and thereby restore its profitability to industry competitive returns is beginning to work.”



Hopkins Homes' Bure Place development.

Suffolk-based housebuilder Hopkins Homes has now achieved a hat-trick of national awards for its restoration and conversion of a Victorian listed building in Norfolk.

Fork Rent is one of three Suffolk firms in the new Investec Mid-Market 100 listing.

Three Suffolk firms have broken into a bi-annual listing of the UK’s 100 fastest-growing mid-market private companies.

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the new  joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel.

Suffolk-based JR Executive Travel has been acquired in a buy-out deal valuing the business at £1.8million.

Jonathan Agar of Birketts. left, with Ian Thoroughgood of Grant Thornton.

Suffolk’s leading companies have together recorded solid growth in sales and profits over the past year, according to the new Suffolk Limited report from Grant Thornton.

R3 Eastern chairman Frank Brumby.

Businesses in the East of England are the least likely in the UK to be victims of late payment, research by insolvency trade body R3 shows.

Samantha Ellis of Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Solicitor Samantha Ellis has joined the family team at Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Ice Watch chairman Paul Bowling.

Suffolk-based winter maintenance specialist Ice Watch has won a contract worth £500,000 to carry out gritting and snow clearing services for Yorkshire Water.


Potato crisp maker Fairfields has teamed up with yet another food and drink producer from the region, with the launch of Adnams Ghost Ship-flavoured crisps.

The Cliff Quay brewery is going to be developed.

An historic Ipswich building which only months ago was considered ‘at risk’ has been boosted by plans for a major redevelopment project which could see it become a thriving hub of the community.

The components being made by CMG Technologies for Somnowell using mental injection moulding technology.

Mental injection moulding (MIM) specialist CMG Technologies, based at Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, has won a contract to supply parts for oral appliances designed to alleviate the dangerous condition of sleep apnoea, which interrupts breathing.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24