Thorntons' profits slump 8.5% in first half

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sales Customer service

Thorntons' profits slump 8.5% in first half
A 30.6% surge in sales of Thorntons-branded products to other retailers helped the chocolatier offset lacklustre sales through its own stores in the first half, but profits slumped 8.5% to £8.3m.

The firm, which has recently appointed ex-Caffè Nero md Jonathan Hart as its new boss, blamed a rise in discounting, a change in the sales channel mix, rising input costs and bad weather for the profit slide.

And while strong growth in sales through other retailers helped push group sales up 4.8% to £133.5m in the 28 weeks to January 8, trading across Thorntons’ own stores was weaker than expected in the second quarter, said chairman John von Spreckelsen.

However, bosses remained committed to improving the trading performance in their own stores through “product innovation, improving the in-store environment and customer service”​, he said.

At the same time, it was likely that the firm's portfolio of stores would contract, he hinted: "The business is approaching a period when a significant number of own store leases will be coming up for renewal, which will provide the board with the opportunity to review the size and shape of the store portfolio.”

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