Thorntons gets boost from sharp rise in commercial sales

High street chocolate retailer Thorntons has announced a 5.6 per cent annual increase in total sales in the ten weeks to 29 June 2013 to £26.8m.

The increase was driven largely by an 11.8 per cent increase in UK commercial sales to £9.2m. Meanwhile, international sales more than doubled to £900,000 and franchise sales grew 0.2 per cent to £1.3m. Following the closure of 34 stores during the year, overall own store sales fell 3.8 per cent to £13.9m.

Commenting, Thorntons's chief executive Jonathan Hart said:

I'm pleased to report further encouraging progress during the final quarter of our financial year. Despite being our smallest sales quarter we have continued to demonstrate the positive impact of our strategy and the strength of our brand.

Our UK Commercial sales growth and market share remain strong and our Own Stores have now delivered positive like-for-like growth across the whole of the second half of this year. We are on track with our store closure programme and have refurbished seven stores to our new format in the period under review.

The trading environment continues to be challenging. The actions we have taken are delivering positive results reflected by the progressive recovery in our profitability over the past 18 months.