Thorntons reports successful Q2 results

High street chocolatier Thorntons has seen a 6.3% increase in total company sales, according to the business.

Published in its second quarter trading update for the 14 weeks up to 11 January, total company sales were reported at £93.1m.

In its Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) division, sales increased by 17.1% to £47m, while UK commercial sales roles by 21.1%. The business said that this was a result of a good Christmas performance, driven by sales of seasonal items.

In its retail division, sales declined by 2.9% to £46.1m, reflecting, Thorntons said, “36 store closures” compared to the same period last year

“We closed seven stores in the period which resulted in 281 own stores at the end of the quarter,” it said.

Like-for-like sales increased by 3.5% and consumer direct sales showed good growth, increasing by 27%. Franchise sales declined by 3.1% in the wuarter due to “timing of orders”, the report said, but grew by 5% over the half year.

Jonathan Hart, chief executive, said: "Our performance over this important period demonstrates continued good progress in the transformation of our business. We are pleased that both our operating divisions delivered positive results with strong sales in our FMCG division and encouraging like-for-like growth in our Retail division.

“Customer response to our new seasonal lines, in particular our Advent calendars and our Snowman licensed range, exceeded our expectations. We also saw good growth in our core boxed chocolate ranges, notably through our refreshed Classics selections.”

Hart added that economic conditions continue to remain challenging for customers, and therefore the market overall was very competitive during the period.

"We are confident in our plans for the key spring seasons, in particular Easter,” he said. “Our current outlook for the financial year remains in line with market expectations.”

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