Thorntons warns on profits
Thorntons warned it now expects profit before tax and exceptional items to be below previous expectations as a mixture of bad winter weather and a poor Easter.
It now expects profit before tax and exceptionals will be around £7.5m, against £6.3m in 2009. Sales of Thorntons-branded products grew by 5.9% during the quarter. Own-store sales fell to £33.5m and like-for-like sales were down 4.6%.
Sales in the Commercial Channel continued to perform strongly, with growth of 33.9% to £20.8m. Launch of Melts into supermarkets and a successful Easter campaign added to the result, said the group.
Franchise sales were down 20.6% to £3.1m. While three stores were opened during the period, the total remained at 222 compared with 254 last year before Birthdays went into administration.
Thorntons Direct grew by 32.4% to £2.5m, with personalisation of products with iced messages or photographs on chocolate boxes proving popular.
"In an economic environment where consumers remain focused on value, the Board is taking a cautious view on the outlook for the remainder of the year." The group said.
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