Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Strawberry Stores in Sudbury was hit by an armed robber

An 18-year-old man was arrested in Sudbury following an armed robbery at a convenience store in the town this afternoon.

The land on Church Lane, Claydon.

Proposals for a travellers’ site to the edge of a Suffolk village have been refused by the planning authority.

Essex Police escort a delegation from the Saudi embassy during a visit to Salary Brook in Greenstead, Colchester, to see the scene where Nahid Almanea was killed last June.

Detectives investigating the murder of Nahid Almanea met with officials from the Kingdom Saudi Arabia (KSA) in Colchester today.

Shirley Ison may have made a fatal error which caused her car to collide with a tree

Driver error is believed to be the cause of a road accident in which a woman was killed, it was ruled this week.

Easter fun at Kesgrave Library. Tabitha and Sebastion Degiorgio.

Eggs – chocolate and real ones – were on everyone’s minds as a library held a family event to mark the Easter season.

Extra trains for ITFC Fans

Extra train services have been arranged for Ipswich Town fans on Good Friday.

Hagon pleaded guilty to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, March 31 to two years and eight months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for five years, after which he must take an extended test, Essex Police said.

A driver has been jailed for two years and eight months following a serious collision in High Garrett, near Braintree.

Planners have refused homes on vacant land at Felixstowe's Haven Exchange site.

Proposals for 61 homes near the Port of Felixstowe have been refused because of the need to keep as much employment land available as possible.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A woman has been left permanently disabled after a driver who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs smashed into her car.

Ian (L to R) and Debbi Tayler along with Tim Cocker standing with the rubbish they have collected from alongside the A12 in Stratford St Andrew

Littering motorists have been criticised for their “thoughtless” behaviour after a dozen large bin bags of rubbish – including a pair of pants – were collected from the roadside.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages