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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Thorntons parts company with boss
Thorntons shop
Thorntons says plans are in place to turn itself around
Chocolate retailer Thorntons is to part company with its chief executive Peter Burdon after the firm saw its annual profits fall by more than a third.

The firm made a pre-tax profit of £5.2m for the year to 24 June, compared with £8.1m during the previous 12 months.

Derbyshire-based Thorntons said Mr Burdon would stay as chief executive until a successor was appointed.

The firm added it was now aiming to reverse the fall in profits by opening more stores and launching new products.

Thorntons said it was also planning to increase its online business.

Previous departure

Like-for-like annual sales at the firm fell 3.7%, although Thorntons said the reduction slowed to 1.8% in the second half of the year.

Back in June, former chief executive of Budgens convenience stores, John von Spreckelsen, became the new chairman of Thorntons.

He replaced Christopher Burnett who announced in February that he would quit after failing to get the company to back his plans to take the firm private.

Mr von Spreckelsen said on Tuesday that "the prospects and potential of the business remain positive".

"In August and early September, sales were in line with our expectations," he said.

Tracing its roots back to 1911, Thorntons currently operates from 367 outlets across the UK and two in the Republic of Ireland.

It also has 212 franchise stores, mainly in smaller towns.


SEE ALSO
Thorntons takeover talks collapse
02 Feb 06 |  Business
Thorntons sales 'disappointing'
17 Jan 06 |  Business
Thorntons in bid talks with chief
19 Aug 05 |  Business
Thorntons appoints new chairman
08 Apr 04 |  Business

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