UK chocolate producer Thornton's today [Tuesday] reported a 9.2% rise in first half pre-tax profits to £10.3m (US$14.7m), up from £9.4m in the same period last year. Turnover reached £102.4m. Valentine's Day sales rose 4%, an important indicator of consumer confidence. In the first five weeks of the second half, like-for-like sales rose by 2.6%, including Valentine's Day sales.