Thorntons oversees positive Easter but sales still on decline

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Profit

Thorntons oversees positive Easter but sales still on decline
UK chocolatier Thorntons has reported a solid Easter performance in a third quarter trading update, but overall sales continue to fall.

In February, the company announced a 63% decline in profits in its half yearly report and said it would close almost half of its own stores to focus on commercial retail sales.

Total sales for the 16 weeks up to 28 April, were down 2.7% to £62.4m.

Strong Easter

However, the company’s franchise sales and online business, Thorntons Direct, experienced growth driven by Easter sales.

Thorntons CEO Jonathan Hart said:  “We saw a good performance at Easter across all our channels and were pleased by our customers’ response to our new spring seasonal lines. However, sales of our all year–round products in the Commercial channel were lower as the difficult consumer environment continues.”

Thorntons in-store segment accounts for the bulk of its total sales and were down 6.1% to £29.4m.

Commercial focus

Its commercial channel, which makes up the second largest chunk of its sales, remained essentially flat at £27.4m. However, for the year to date, sales in its commercial channel are up 3.9%.

Hart previously said that the company’s sales would develop through its commercial channel and its  retail estate would be reduced.

The company previously announced plans to close 120 of its 344 stores at a cost of around £4.5m.Eleven stores were closed in the last quarter.


Thorntons did not communicate its operating profit in its latest trading update, but said in its half yearly report in February that profits had nosedived 65%

Hart said: “We continue to focus on restoring profitability and we are seeing early signs of progress resulting in an overall satisfactory trading performance.”

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