Thorntons retail sales dropped 5.4% during the third quarter, despite “positive” trading in the build-up to Valentine’s Day and Easter weekend.
- Retail sales fall 5.4% with like-for-likes flat
- Thorntons blames “lower than expected performance” outside of Easter and Valentine’s Day seasons
- FMCG sales down as bosses retain “cautious” outlook for the full year
The chocolatier said retail sales were down to £27.7m for the 15 weeks to April 25 2015. Like-for-likes were flat having increased just 0.1%.
Thorntons said it delivered “positive like-for-like sales growth” over its “key spring seasons” of Easter and Valentine’s Day.
But it blamed the lack of growth on “lower than expected performance” across other weeks in the quarter, including the one leading up to Mothers’ Day.
Thorntons said it remained in like-for-like sales growth of 1.5% for the year to date, but was “cautious about the outlook for the full year.”
The retailer’s FMCG division also saw sales drop 6.7% to £26.5m during the period. Thorntons said this was driven by a 6.1% decline in UK commercial sales, following “reduced levels of orders from one customer”, although it declined to specify which customer this referred to.
International sales, which accounted for 2% of Thorntons’ overall sales during the quarter, fell 15.1%.
Thorntons chief executive Jonathan Hart said: “The sales decline in UK commercial is now solely due to reduced levels of orders from one customer, which have continued into the second half of the year.
“We are, however, encouraged by positive sales across the balance of our trade partners. Our Easter specialities sold well with these customers and in our retail channels and we ended the season with clean stocks.
“Looking ahead to our fourth quarter we remain cautious about the outlook for the full year and continue to maintain strict control of costs as the economic situation is still challenging for many of our shoppers and trade customers.”