Own store sales not so sweet for Thorntons
Mixed bag of results in the companys first quarter trading update and interim management statement
In its trading update for the 14 weeks up to and including 2 October 2010, Thorntons said that total sales grew by 7.4% to £50.3 million. Commercial sales grew by 29.3% to £20.2 million with sales of Thorntons branded product growing by 35.8% to £19.8 million.
However, own store sales declined by 4.3% to £26.0 million with like for like sales decline of 4.1%. Franchise sales also declined, by 4.8% to £2.8 million as they were adversely affected by the timing of initial Christmas stock deliveries, which occurred in the first quarter last year and which will take place at the start of the second quarter this financial year.
Thorntons Direct sales increased by 18.6% to £1.3 million with growth in both consumer and corporate sales.
John von Spreckelsen, Thorntons' Executive Chairman, commented,"We are pleased to report satisfactory trading in the first quarter, traditionally a quieter period for the Company, with overall sales growth of 7.4% and sales of Thorntons' branded products up 9.0%. Performance in the Commercial and Thorntons Direct channels were particularly pleasing. The Franchise channel was negatively affected by the timing of Christmas deliveries; however underlying trading for the period was encouraging. Our challenge and key focus area for the Board remains the performance in Own Stores where sales declined in line with management expectations. We are continuing to implement a number of new initiatives to drive sales and have recently launched a strong Christmas seasonal range."
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