Wednesday February 15th 2012
Chocolate maker Thorntons saw pre-tax profits fall to £3.1 million in the six months to 7 January, down from £8.4 million in the same period last year.
The fall in profit came as the struggling retailer offered heavy discounts and spent more on promotional lines in an effort to attract cash-strapped consumers to its stores.
Revenues fell by £3.5 million to £130 million while own store sales declined 7.9% to £68.3 million. Like-for-like sales decreased by 5.5%.
The company shut 20 of the 120 stores scheduled for closure over the next three years at a cost of £700,000. There are now 344 stores.
However, online sales at Thorntons Direct grew 4.6% to £6.7 million with a new website due to launch in the spring.
The company, which issued its fifth profit warning in 20 months last December, said it would not pay an interim dividend.
Jonathan Hart, chief executive, said the “the economic and retail environment will remain challenging and uncertain for the foreseeable future, certainly through 2012”.