Thorntons profits on track as supermarket sales grow

Chocolate maker Thorntons expects to unwrap annual profits of about £7 million, in line with City hopes, as it continues to shrink its retail estate and grow sales through supermarkets.

The firm said total high street sales fell 11.1 per cent in the fourth quarter as it closed 11 branches, but commercial sales to supermarkets and other retailers surged 22.2 per cent.

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Chief executive Jonathan Hart said: “In line with previous periods, we saw no signs of improvement in consumer spending on the high street during this quarter, which is our shortest and smallest quarter and accounts for around 10 per cent of full-year sales.”

Total sales for the full-year ending 28 June edged up 0.7 per cent to £222.5m.