UK confectioner and retailer Thorntons posted a fall in fourth-quarter sales today (15 July) but said it expects full-year profit to be ahead of market forecasts.

For the ten weeks to 27 June, sales dropped 2.7% to GBP27.9m (US$45.8m). Thornton's said the hot weather in June had an adverse affect on sales.

"The board expects that profit before tax and before the anticipated pension scheme credit for the full year ended June 2009 will be marginally ahead of the current market consensus of GBP5.4m," said Mike Davies, Thorntons' chief executive.
Own store sales declined by 0.9% in the quarter to GBP18.5m, and like-for-like sales in the period also decreased, by 1.6%.

Thorntons Direct sales declined by 30.8% to GBP0.8m in the quarter reflecting a continued weakness in sales to corporate customers.

Sales for the group's second-half however, increased 6.6% to reach GBP86.4m.