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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 10:14 GMT
Thorntons buoyed by festive sales
Thorntons shop
Sales via the company's website increased by 19.1%
Chocolate retailer Thorntons has revealed a boost in sales over Christmas helped the company offset poor summer trading figures.

Increased festive sales helped figures for the first half of its year - from June 2006 to January - rise by 3.2% on the same period in 2005/06.

That helped turnaround a drop in sales during the hot summer months.

Bosses of the Derbyshire-based firm said increased investment and new organic ranges helped revive trade.

'Steady progress'

Online sales at Thorntons Direct increased by almost 20% from June 2006 to January compared to the same period in 2005/06, after significant investment in the website.

Chief executive Mike Davies said: "On the whole, we have made steady progress following a difficult start to the year.

"The investment made across all the sales channels in the first half produced an improved second quarter performance.

"This investment, together with new sales and cost initiatives, positions us well to deliver overall sales growth in the second half."

It currently has 366 stores in the UK, with 214 franchised stores mainly in smaller towns.

The company traces its roots back to 1911 when Joseph William Thornton opened a sweet shop in Sheffield with his teenage son.




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