Following the company’s profit meltdown and subsequent resignation of Thorntons boss Peter Burdon, the UK confectioner and retailer has appointed a veteran Mars man to step into the breach.

Mike Davies will replace Burdon, who stood down last month after the group posted a 36% drop in annual pre-tax profits to GBP5.2m.

Davies had previously held several senior positions with Mars, including MD of the company’s UK and Irish businesses, European vice president, sales and president of Latin America. Davies had also served on the US confectionery giant’s worldwide operating board.

Of the appointment, John von Spreckelsen, the new chairman of Thorntons, said Davies would bring “considerable expertise of the chocolate and confectionery market”.

Von Spreckelsen added: “Mike’s knowledge and experience complements that of our existing team and will prove invaluable as we implement our growth strategy.”

Thorntons announced plans last month to reverse its declining profits by opening new stores, launching more products and increasing online operations. The company will also invest GBP1m in upgrading and refurbishing its 367 existing outlets.

Thorntons shares dropped 1.57% to 150.60 pence in morning trade today (2 October).