Thorntons sees full year 'substantially ahead' of forecasts

Chocolatier Thorntons said an encouraging performance during its key Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter period makes it confident that full year pre-exceptional profit before tax will be substantially ahead of the current market expectation with the potential for further improvement in the final quarter.

Chocolatier Thorntons said an encouraging performance during its key Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter period makes it confident that full year pre-exceptional profit before tax will be substantially ahead of the current market expectation with the potential for further improvement in the final quarter.

Total sales for the 14 weeks up to and including April 20th 2013 increased by 4.0% to £60.6m compared to the same period last year.

Thorntons branded UK Commercial sales grew by 10.0% to £27.4m with good growth across all three seasons.

Thorntons' share of the Total Boxed Chocolate market increased from 11.7% to 12.2% in the last 52 weeks and its share of the Inlaid Boxed Chocolate market increased from 32.9% to 35.6%.

Sales of Easter specialities grew by 23.5% and its Easter market share grew to 4.7% from 4.0% last year.

Own Stores like-for-like (LFL) sales grew by 0.2%. Total sales were down 4.1% to £26.0m after the closure of a further 9 stores in the quarter, in line with the strategy. Thorntons now has 24 fewer stores than a year ago.

Franchise sales declined by £0.6m to £2.2m as expected, after its main franchisee was placed into administration in May 2012.

Thorntons Direct sales fell 4.6% to £2.2m. Its Consumer Direct business delivered growth at Easter as improvements from the new website began to feed through, it said.

Private label sales increased to £1.7m while International sales grew by 30.8% to £1.1m.

Chief Executive Jonathan Hart commented: "This period includes the important trading seasons of Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter where we saw an encouraging sales performance in our main channels."

"Although we continue to be cautious about the impact of current economic conditions, the Board is now confident that pre-exceptional profit before tax for the full year to June 29 2013 will be substantially ahead of the current market expectation with the potential for further improvement in the final quarter."

Thorntons said as a result of actions taken over the past two years, gross margins were slightly ahead of company expectations.

CJ

Recommended

Britain’s ten most-hated shares – w/e 20 May
Stocks and shares

Britain’s ten most-hated shares – w/e 20 May

Rupert Hargreaves looks at Britain's ten-most hated shares, and what short-sellers are looking right now.
23 May 2022
Britain's most-bought shares w/e 20 May
Stocks and shares

Britain's most-bought shares w/e 20 May

A look at Britain's most-bought shares in the week ending 13 May, providing an insight into how investors are thinking and where opportunities may lie…
23 May 2022
Director dealings w/e 20 May: what company insiders are buying and selling
Stocks and shares

Director dealings w/e 20 May: what company insiders are buying and selling

Directors’ share dealings can often give investors an insight into the sentiment of company insiders. Here are some of the biggest deals by company di…
23 May 2022
Three high-yielding FTSE 250 dividend stocks I’d invest in right now
Share tips

Three high-yielding FTSE 250 dividend stocks I’d invest in right now

The average FTSE 250 dividend yield is around 2.4%., but many stocks yield much more. Rupert Hargreaves picks the best FTSE 250 stocks for income inve…
23 May 2022

Most Popular

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?
Share tips

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?

Tobacco company Imperial Brands boasts an impressive dividend yield, and the shares look cheap. But investors should beware, says Rupert Hargreaves. H…
20 May 2022
Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest
Investment strategy

Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest

Merryn talks to Barry Norris of Argonaut capital about the parallels between now and the 1970s; the transition to “green” energy; and the one sector w…
19 May 2022
Share tips of the week – 20 May
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 20 May

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
20 May 2022