Thorntons, the chocolates specialist, is likely to reshape its store portfolio after difficult trading and warned that profits this year will be no higher than last.

The retailer, which suffered a fall in first-half profits, will focus on its estate of company-owned shops which have had a particularly tough time.

Thorntons chairman Jon von Spreckelsen said: “Looking forward, we believe that we are well placed to continue to grow our commercial, franchise and Thorntons Direct operations.

“Trading in our own stores will remain difficult, however we are entering a period when a significant number of our own-store leases will be approaching renewal. This will provide the opportunity to change the size and shape of the own-store portfolio.”

The retailer, which former Caffe Nero managing director Jonathan Hart has just joined as chief executive, posted an 8.5% fall in pre-tax profits to £8.3m in the first half to January 8, when sales rose 4.8% to £133.5m.

Thorntons said that the snowy weather affected in the sales and profits, and resulted in incremental supply chain costs of £0.5m.

Own-store sales fell 5.9% in the half, or 5.2% like-for-like. Franchised store sales, also affected by the snow, fell 4.9%.

Direct sales climbed 8.5%. Commercial sales rose 30.6% and now account for 33.9% of the group total.

The retailer said that full-year profits are now likely to be at a similar level to last year, about £6m. The City had previously expected that profits would rise.