Although revenue rose by 4.8% to £127.4m, interim profit before tax for the 28 weeks ended January 8th 2011 declined by 8.5% to £8.3m at Thorntons, the UK confectionery manufacturer and retailer. Adverse weather conditions in its second quarter affected sales and profits, and disruption to the supply chain caused incremental costs of £0.5m.
The fall in profitability was caused by a combination of gross profit margin decline, due to changes in the sales channel mix and some discounting, as well as weather related impacts. Sales of Thorntons branded products increased by 5.5% during the period.
Trading in Thorntons own stores on the high street continues to be difficult but the company’s commercial operations and its Thorntons Direct business are expected to continue to grow.
“We are entering a period when a significant number of our own store leases will be approaching renewal. This will provide the opportunity to change the size and shape of the own store portfolio,” points out John von Spreckelsen, chairman of Thorntons.