Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

UK chocolate maker Thorntons enjoys sweeter profits

Easter eggs
Thorntons wants to be less reliant on Christmas sales

Chocolate maker Thorntons has reported a rise in profits - after it decided to reduce the level of discounting in its shops.

The firm, now perhaps the most high-profile UK chocolatier after the sale of Cadbury to US firm Kraft Foods, made £9,1m in the 28 weeks to 9 January.

This was up by 24.6% compared with the same period a year earlier.

Overall sales slipped slightly, down 0.7% to £127.4m, but demand for its branded chocolates grew by 5.5%.

Thornton's chief executive Mike Davies: "We've discounted a lot less"

The firm said it would continue its policy of trying to become less reliant on Christmas sales.

"We expect to be able to continue to improve our performance in the second half, which is historically loss-making," said chief executive Mike Davies.

Thorntons' chocolates are sold through many supermarkets and other retailers as well as its 378 stores operating under the Thorntons brand name.

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