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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 18:58 GMT
Thorntons rebound 'well underway'
Thorntons has struck a new deal with Tesco
Derbyshire-based confectioner Thorntons has released figures showing that a recovery drive launched 18 months ago is now paying off.

Steps taken by the Alfreton firm included cutting back the number of Thorntons' own stores, and reducing the range of products available.

On Tuesday chief executive Peter Burdon announced that the new measures had taken effect, with underlying profits up by nine per cent.

He added that a series of new initiatives, such as a deal struck to sell Thorntons' chocolates in Tesco, should boost sales in coming months.

Diversification plans

"I'm really pleased with these results," he said. "The turnaround is well underway."

First half results today showed that total sales in the six months to 12 January were up three per cent to 102.4m.

Pre-tax profits rose to 10.3m compared with 9.4m in the same period last year before costs linked to shop closures.

The company now plans to diversity further.

It has already opened eight "Signature" stores aimed at a younger market and set up 25 cafes in existing shops.

It now intends to start producing biscuits and ice cream for supermarkets in addition to its range of chocolates, cakes and desserts.

Click here to go to Derby
See also:

22 Jan 02 | Business
Sex and chocolate sales soar
13 Feb 02 | Business
Britons turn to chocolate amid gloom
08 Mar 00 | Business
Thorntons aims for sweeter future
03 Sep 01 | Glasgow 2001
Chocolate's double-edged health message
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