Chocolate retailer and manufacturer Thorntons posted a 4.1% rise in like-for-like sales in the 28 weeks to January 12. Total sales were up 3% to £102.4m. Northern c-store chain Mills Group posted a 13.5% rise in like-for-like sales in the four weeks to December 29, reflecting strong tobacco sales and the introduction of beers, wines and spirits. Meat substitute specialist Quorn has made its first shipment to the US after receiving the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration to take the product across the Atlantic. Scottish & Newcastle has agreed to form a strategic partnership with leading Indian brewer United Breweries to develop and acquire brewing businesses in the region. Shopworkers union Usdaw says the Christmas Day Trading Bill, preventing large stores from opening on December 25, will get its final hearing in the Commons in the next two months. Golfers from the grocery industry joined sporting celebrities including Ian Botham and Lawrence Dallaglio to raise £50,000 for grocers' charity Caravan in the Golden Wonder Masters tournament in Spain this month. Own label ice cream manufacturer Richmond Foods told shareholders at the company's agm it had paid £9.9m for Nestlé's UK ice cream business. The deal stipulated a maximum price of £10.2m. Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons are sponsoring the first Welsh Food and Drink Awards, launched by the Welsh Development Agency. Retailer and Mace wholesaler for Scotland Aberness has attributed its 7.8% growth in like-for-like sales in the four weeks to January 6 to successful promotions and maintaining steady stock levels. Consumer minister Melanie Johnson has unveiled a £10m package of measures to crack down on rogue traders, boost Trading Standards services and improve consumer service. Foodservice quiche, pie and pastry producer Peakhouse Foods has been named one of the 100 most successful companies in inner London by the New Economics Foundation. C-store chain Jacksons Stores said the 12.3% increase in its like-for-like sales in the three weeks of Christmas was because high stock levels were maintained, particularly in promotional lines. Woolworths' former md Keith Fleming this week quit after 12 years, following the announcement of his move to md of Woolworths Local stores in a management shake-up last week. Gilletts Callington's web site address is, not as stated in our January 12 edition. The Cupar based Scottish soft fruit marketing company referred to last week was Scotfruit and not Scotfresh. {{NEWS }}