Thorntons celebrates 'outstanding' Christmas
Although the division’s sales declined by 2.4% to £44.9 million in the 14 weeks to 10 January, the chocolatier said shopper demand for its inlaid boxes, seasonal specialities and advent calendars all contributed to a 7.8% increase in like-for-like sales from 1 to 24 December.
Meanwhile, consumer direct sales increased by 13% during the quarter.
Jonathan Hart, Thorntons' chief executive, said: "The retail division experienced strong like-for-like sales growth in the quarter with an outstanding Christmas season which highlights our shoppers' appreciation of our brand, product offering and in-store experience. Demand for our boxed chocolates, seasonal specialities and advent calendars was particularly high.”
Sales within Thorntons’ FMCG division sales fell 10.3% to £41.9 million.
Hart said: "Alongside very positive results from our retail division for the second year running, we were disappointed that the continued growth we anticipated in the UK commercial channel of our FMCG division had not been delivered. The challenges we experienced within specific grocers accounted for the majority of the share decline.”
International sales increased by 19% while franchise sales declined by 6.4%.
Hart added: "Good growth in many of our grocery, convenience and high street accounts and a strong performance from our retail division gives us confidence in shopper demand for our brand and products. We continue with our transformation towards an FMCG business and the investment in our people, systems and factory is ongoing. We have good plans for the spring seasons and the board remains confident in its multi-channel strategy and ongoing transformation."
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