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Thorntons reports

Chocolatier Thorntons has reported a "mixed" third quarter performance despite positive sales growth in the run-up to Valentine’s Day and Easter.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Thorntons reports "mixed" third quarter performance

Chocolatier Thorntons has reported a "mixed" third quarter performance despite positive sales growth in the run-up to Valentine’s Day and Easter.

In the 15 weeks to 25 April, a lower than expected performance across other weeks in the quarter, including Mothers' Day, resulted in relatively flat like-for-like sales growth in its retail division of 0.1%. However, in the year to date like-for-like sales have remained in growth with an increase of 1.5%.

While the retail division’s sales declined by 5.4% to £27.7 million in the period, sales at the FMCG division decreased by 6.7% to £26.5 million. UK commercial sales fell by 6.1% due to reduced levels of orders from one of the company’s grocery partners.

Meanwhile, international sales decreased by 15.1% although sales have grown by 12.2% in the year to date.

Thorntons' chief executive Jonathan Hart said: "The sales decline in UK commercial is now solely due to reduced levels of orders from one customer which have continued into the second half of the year. We are, however, encouraged by positive sales across the balance of our trade partners. Our Easter specialities sold well with these customers and in our retail channels and we ended the season with clean stocks.

"Looking ahead to our fourth quarter we remain cautious about the outlook for the full year and continue to maintain strict control of costs as the economic situation is still challenging for many of our shoppers and trade customers."

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