Thorntons has reported a 47 per cent hike in profits as the chocolate maker continues to push its products into supermarkets and withdraw from the high street.
Pre-tax profit for the 28 weeks to 11 January was £7.2m, with sales up 4.5 per cent to £139.7m. Sales in its retail division fell by four per cent, which was primarily due to the ongoing closure of its stores.
The retailer, which is aiming to close two-thirds of its stores over the next three years in order to cut costs, shut down 15 high street locations last year with 40 more closures planned during the financial year.
The Christmas period also contributed to the rise, having seen strong advent calendar and Snowman product sales grow Thorntons’ seasonal category by 68 per cent overall.
Thorntons chief executive Jonathan Hart said: “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.”
He added that the retailer’s focus remains on restoring the financial strength of the business, with two new launches planned for the second half of the year including a new Indulgence range, which continues Thorntons' plan to become a go-to brand outside of its season offerings.