¹ Profit before tax includes exceptional items which give rise to a £1.8m net credit.
“I’m pleased to report good overall sales growth for the year in a difficult economic environment,” said Mike Davies, Thorntons’ chief executive. “Following the implementation of a number of initiatives earlier in the financial year, performance in the second half improved substantially.
“During the year, we implemented a number of prudent cost control measures and focused on management of the balance sheet. We cleared stocks during the difficult pre-Christmas trading period and managed to reduce debt for the year as a whole. In addition, we continued to innovate and invest in the future across both our product range and in our retail and manufacturing infrastructure. We launched the new ‘Choc Block’ range in retail and the new chocolate box range in the commercial channel, refreshed the Christmas and spring season ranges, and introduced various new ice cream flavours. We also made substantial investments in our new EPOS system and in manufacturing.
“Discussions are progressing well with Clinton Cards and other potential franchisees to replace lost sales following the closure of 94 Birthdays franchises. Currently, 37 stores have already reopened, with a further 38 stores expected to start trading before Christmas.
“Since the year end, the company has agreed new committed bank facilities for three years. This, together with the changes we’ve made this year, puts us in a good position to emerge from the recession a more profitable business. As a result, Thorntons is well placed to continue its long-term growth strategy and we remain optimistic about the future.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020