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Thorntons Makes Further Progress During First Half

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Thorntons Makes Further Progress During First Half

Thorntons Makes Further Progress During First Half
March 04
15:36 2014

Confectionery manufacturer and retailer Thorntons has achieved further solid progress in the execution of its strategy to transform the business into an emerging international FMCG business and UK multi-channel retailer. During the first half ended 11 January 2014, Thorntons increased overall sales by by 4.5% to £139.7 million with its core channels delivering good results. Sales in the FMCG division grew and exceeded sales in the Retail division for the first time. Actions to broaden and deepen distribution across the group’s commercial customer base and the success of its Christmas seasonal specialities contributed to this achievement.

During the period under review profit before tax and exceptional items grew by 47.3% to £7.2 million. However, in light of the current and future cash requirements of the business, the board has decided not to recommend an interim dividend. The board does intend to adopt a progressive dividend policy when the trading performance and prospects for the business allow.

The plans to reduce the Own Store estate to deliver a sustainable and profitable channel remained on course with an encouraging +2.1% like-for-like sales increase in the Retail division – the best first half since 2008. This was supported by an good online performance from the Consumer Direct channel.

Thorntons is on track to close approximately a further 40 stores during this financial year as it continue to create a sustainable and profitable estate of between 180 and 200 stores in the medium-term.

Jonathan Hart, chief executive of Thorntons, comments: “Overall we continue to be encouraged with the progress which has been made in implementing our strategy of rebalancing the business, revitalising the brand and restoring profitability and we look forward to the key spring seasons of Mother’s Day and Easter with confidence. Going forward our focus remains firmly on continuing our current strategy and maintaining the positive trajectory that we have established over the past two years. As a result of the growing production volumes we are also investing in increasing our manufacturing capacity to support our long-term objectives.”

He adds: “As expected, the marketplace remains highly competitive and our consumers continue to seek value; our plans have been made accordingly.”

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