Total sales at chocolate retailer Thorntons grew by 3.9 per cent to £83.7 million in its second quarter, a trading statement published today revealed.
In the 14 weeks to January 8th, online & corporate sales along with commercial sales were the best performing segments for the chocolatier, with respective year-on-year increases of 7.6 per cent and a massive 33.7 per cent.
Almost all (98 per cent) of the commercial sales were for Thorntons branded products, total sales of which moved up by 3.9 per cent compared last year to reach £83.7 million.
It is in-store that the company continues to struggle, with own store sales falling 6.8 per cent in total and 5.9 per cent like-for-like, whilst franchise sales dipped by 2.2 per cent over the quarter.
John von Spreckelsen, Chairman of Thorntons, commented: “We are pleased to report sales growth in the second quarter despite the impact of the adverse weather on own stores sales.
“This was offset by a solid performance in the commercial and Thorntons Direct channels.”
The decline in own-store trade fell further than the 4.3 per cent drop in total sales seen in the first quarter, which Thorntons blames on the poor weather in December.
When Q1 results were released in October the main focus of the retailer’s management was to improve own store sales and so this set back will be unwelcome.
Sprecklesen added: “The board is cautiously optimistic for the prospects for the current financial year.”
In November Thorntons finally announced Jonathan Hart as the replacement for Mike Davies as company CEO after a five-month search.
Thorntons store portfolio grew to 600 during the quarter, thanks to a net gain of one franchise store.