Thorntons profits hit by bad weather

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Image caption,
Thorntons said in-store trading would "remain difficult"

Chocolate retailer Thorntons has reported a fall in profits due to bad weather that hit sales and caused disruption to its supply chain.

Pre-tax profits for the 28 weeks to 8 January were £8.3m, a fall of 8.5% on the £9.1m the firm made a year earlier. Revenue rose by 4.8% to £133.5m.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new stores, fell 5.2%.

Thorntons said that trading since the end of the period had been "challenging".

'Difficult trading'

The group said supply chain disruption caused by adverse weather had cost it £500,000.

On a brighter note, it said online sales rose by 8.5% to £6.4m.

"During a testing period, with weak consumer confidence and adverse weather, I am pleased to report continued market share gains for Thorntons, with group sales up 4.8%," said the group's chairman, John von Spreckelsen.

He added that the fall in profits was down to declining margins as well as the bad weather.

Looking forward, Mr von Spreckelsen said in-store trading would "remain difficult".

Pre-tax profits for the full financial year were likely to be the same as last year, he estimated.

Last year, the firm announced 35 job cuts at its head office in Alfreton, Derbyshire.

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