Miranda Dobson

Member Article

Thorntons sales rise 5.4% over festive period

High street chocolate shop Thorntons saw a surge in supermarket sales in its latest trading statement, which helped bolster sales declines elsewhere.

Despite a 1.3% decline of sales in their own brand stores, the number of chocolate boxes sold in supermarkets went up by 16.9%.

In the 14 weeks up to 12th January, total sales rose by £4.5m to £88m, which demonstrated a 5.4% increase in comparison with last year.

Franchise store sales were down from £1.1m to £3m, which Thorntons said it had expected after its major franchisee, Clinton Cards, went into administration in May 2012.

Thorntons saw strong growth of 69% in its international operations after it implemented a “strategic initiative” over the past 12 months to develop its sales overseas.

This figure amounted to £2.1m worth of sales, while Thorntons Direct sales fell by £0.7m to £4.8m.The chocolatier put this digital demise down to a “late deployment” of the website and operational complications, which had a significant impact on sales.

Chief executive, Jonathan Hart, commented: “These results demonstrate the effectiveness of our multi-channel distribution model and our strategy to rebalance our routes to market and revitalise the business as a whole.

“We have grown market share and demonstrated the continued strength of the Thorntons brand despite a challenging economy and a weak confectionery market.

“We enter the second half of our financial year with profits in line with our expectations and ahead of last year.

“Our seasonal lines have sold through well, resulting in stock levels lower than anticipated and below last year at the period end.

“Our important spring seasons, in particular Easter, lie ahead of us and will be key to the outcome of the full year.

“We have strong trading plans for spring and an encouraging Commercial order book. We are confident in our strategy and the actions we are taking but remain cautious given the continuing challenge of the economic climate.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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