Thorntons said yesterday its commercial arm selling chocolates to supermarkets returned to “double-digit” growth in the fourth quarter, making it confident of meeting full-year profit targets.
The London-listed chocolatier expects pre-tax profits to leap 51 per cent to £7.1m for the year to 28 June compared with £4.7m a year earlier.
Shares rose 8.4 per cent to 116.1p yesterday on the news. It will publish its full-year results next week.
The Derbyshire-based group suffered a 7.6 per cent drop in the sales in the third quarter, hurt by early spring deliveries in the second quarter and weaker than expected Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day performance.
Consumer sentiment remained subdued in the wake of sluggish wage growth and a pick-up in inflation, prompting Thorntons to close some of its stores in the third quarter and focus on online business.
The retailer also said it had secured support from its existing lenders, who had agreed in principle to give Thorntons more breathing space by providing an increased loan of £75m expiring in October 2018.