Thorntons egged on by sweeter financials

The chocolate retailer has upgraded its profit forecasts today after a period of robust sales to Easter egg obsessives.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Just a year ago, Thorntons was having a hard time. In its half-year results to 7 January, 2012, it made just £618,000 profit, compared with £8.3m in the same period the year before. It had to cancel its interim dividend and start concocting plans for a turnaround.

But now the firm seems to have got the mix just right, with a period of great sales buoyed by Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day. It said that profit before tax in the full year to the end of June 2013 would be significantly ahead of the current market expectation of £3.1m. 

So what else has been going on in the business to get back on an even keel? Relatively new CEO Jonathan Hart has closed 36 stores to reduce overheads, and plans to close a total of 180. Reducing that expensive premises cost base has certainly freed up some cash.

In a statement, the firm refrained from getting too excited about what appears to be a revival of fortunes: ‘We remain cautious of the prevailing economy and its continuing impact on consumer expenditure.

‘We will continue to work through the detail of the recent trading period and will provide further information in our Q3 IMS currently scheduled for Wednesday 24 April 2013.’ We await the official figures with interest.

To look a little deeper into the numbers, the firm also said that it increased its total revenues for the six months to 12  January 2013 to £133.7m, partly helped by increasing sales of its products through other shops such as supermarkets and convenience stores, instead of just its own high street retail outlets.

Looks like Thorntons dark (chocolate) days may be over. 

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.

Andrew Strauss: Leadership lessons from an international cricket captain

"It's more important to make the decision right than make the right decision."