UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer Thorntons has seen a jump in third-quarter sales, boosted by market share gains.

In a trading update this morning (24 April), Thorntons said total third-quarter sales were up 4% to GBP60.6m (US$92.5m). The company said it was "pleased" with a "satisfactory" result in this key trading period - which includes Easter, Mothers Day and Valentine's Day.

Over the last 52 weeks, Thorntons emphasised it grew its share of the total boxed market in the UK from 11.7% to 12.2%. The company has also expanded its Easter Specialities range - expanding its share of total Easter sales from 4% to 4.7% year-on-year.

While total sales at its own stores dropped 4.1% as a result of store closures, LFL sales were up 0.2%. Commercial sales were up 10% in the period as the group continues to refocus its portfolio to sales through third party retailers such as supermarkets.

The company also saw a decrease in online sales, but has assured the market that this is a short-term issue caused by technical problems on its website.

Show the press release




Thorntons PLC today reports its third quarter trading update for the 14 weeks up to and including 20 April 2013. 

Key points

Total sales for the period which includes Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter increased by 4.0% to £60.6 million compared to the same period last year.

Thorntons branded UK Commercial sales grew by 10.0% to £27.4 million with good growth across all three seasons. Thorntons’ share of the Total Boxed Chocolate market increased from 11.7% to 12.2% in the last 52 weeks and its share of the Inlaid Boxed Chocolate market increased from 32.9% to 35.6%*. Sales of Easter specialities grew by 23.5% and Easter market share grew to 4.7% from 4.0% last year**.

Own Stores like for like sales grew by 0.2% with growth during each of the three key seasons. Total sales were down 4.1% to £26.0 million as a further 9 stores were closed in the quarter, in line with the strategy, resulting in 24 fewer stores than a year ago. 

Franchise sales declined by £0.6 million to £2.2 million as expected, mainly reflecting the placing into administration of our major franchisee in May 2012. 

Thorntons Direct sales decreased by 4.6% to £2.2 million with the Consumer Direct business delivering growth at Easter as improvements from the new website began to feed through.

Private label sales increased to £1.7 million.

International sales grew by 30.8% to £1.1 million


Original source: Thorntons