Thorntons reports boom at checkouts

Somercotes chocolate-maker Thorntons has reported a ‘significant’ rise in half-year profits, driven largely by sales through supermarkets.

The firm said that in the six months to January 12 2013, the company achieved pre-tax profits of £5.3 million, a rise of £2.2 million, or 71 per cent, on the same period 12 months ago.

Sales were also up from £130 million to £133.7 million - a rise of £3.7 million, or 2.9 per cent.

But sales at its own stores fell by 8.3 per cent, to £62.6 million - which the company said was mainly due to the closure of 13 stores.

The firm says is in the process of reducing the size of its High Street presence, in order to concentrate on commercial sales.

Last month, Thorntons announced the closure of its shop in Belper, bringing to an end the chocolate maker’s 65-year association with the town. The King Street store will close in the summer. The company has not revealed how many staff will be affected.