Thorntons has reported a decline in half-year profits, blaming the harsh winter weather for hitting sales.
Pre-tax profits fell 8.5% to £8.3m for the 28 weeks ended 8 January, down from £9.1m for the previous year.
Group sales were up 4.8% to £133.5m but the company offered a cautious outlook on own-store trading for the remainder of the year.
Own-Store sales declined 5.9% to £74.1m in the first half and like-for-like sales were down 5.2%.
Thornton’s commercial channel bolstered its overall performance, with sales up 30.6% to £45.2m. The company said improved functionality on its Thorntons Direct website had buoyed sales for the period to £6.4m, up from £5.9m a year earlier.
“Trading in our own stores will remain difficult,” said Thorntons chairman John von Spreckelsen.
“However, we are entering a period when a significant number of our own store leases will be approaching renewal. This will provide the opportunity to change the size and shape of the own store portfolio.”
Thorntons launches bigger Easter range with flash packaging (22 January 2011)
Sales up but Thorntons could close stores this year (14 January 2011)