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Hot weather melts Thorntons sales

Hot weather in June adversely affected sales compared with last year's cold and wet weather.

CITY & CORPORATE

Hot weather melts Thorntons sales

Hot weather in June adversely affected sales compared with last year's cold and wet weather.

Overall sales declined by 2.7% to £27.9 million in the quarter but increased by 6.6% in the second half of the year to £86.4 million.

Own store sales declined by 0.9% in the quarter to £18.5 million, but increased by 2.2% in the se

cond half to £53.8 million. Like for like sales in the period decreased by 1.6%, but rose by 1.5% in the second half.

Franchise sales for the quarter declined by 25.3% to £1.4 million, adversely impacted by Birthdays Ltd, which operated 94 franchises, going into administration on 20 May 2009. Total Franchise sales for the second half of the year showed a decrease of 0.5%.

Commercial sales in the second half of the year grew by 24.0%.

Sales by Thorntons Direct declined by 30.8% to £0.8m in the quarter which reflects a continued weakness in sales to corporate customers. Sales in the second halffrom the call centre and the website decreased by 3.1% in the period, but increased by 9.5% in the second half.

Mike Davies, Thorntons' Chief Executive, commented: 'I am pleased to report good overall growth for the year with the second half showing significant improvement over the same period last year. This result has been achieved despite experiencing some decline in the fourth quarter, historically our smallest, representing only 13% of annual sales.

“Our cost initiatives continue to deliver results. These, combined with some exciting new product developments, put us in a good position to emerge from the current conditions a more profitable business. Discussions are progressing well, with both Clinton Cards and other potential franchisees, to replace lost sales in the locations where Birthdays stores have closed. The Board expects that profit before tax andbefore the anticipated pension scheme credit for the full year ended June 2009 will be marginally ahead of the current market consensus of £5.4 million.'

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