Thorntons licks its lips as profits rise 47%

In-store sales may be down, but the chocolatier is flogging us more sweets in supermarkets.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 18 May 2015

Thorntons’ half year pre-tax profits jumped 47% to £7.2m in the 28 weeks to mid-January, as more people chewed on chocolate and crunched caramel over Christmas.
The chocolatier’s revenues rose 4.5% to £139.7m, although retail sales were down 4% to £69m. However, the measure was up 2.2% on a like-for-like basis, stripping out the effect of the retailer’s planned store closures.
Thornton’s is cutting back on its stores as it focuses on selling more chocolate in supermarkets. It now has 281 stores, having closed 15 in the 28 weeks to January 11. It is planning to reduce that number to between 180 and 200 ‘in the medium-term’.
‘We continue to be encouraged with the progress which has been made in implementing our strategy of Rebalancing the business, Revitalising the brand and Restoring profitability,’ chief exec Jonathan Hart said in a statement issued this morning, making sure to capitalise those all-important alliterative catchphrases.

The recession sorted the chocolate from the chaff in retailing and Thorntons seems to have survived without melting. However, the proof will really be in the pudding once the chocolatier finishes shutting up shops.

For the moment at least, it looks like the UK loves chocolate just as much as MT does – roll on Easter…

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