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Thorntons melts as retailers offer little Christmas cheer

by Kiran Moodley on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:58

Thorntons melts as retailers offer little Christmas cheer

Figures are coming out thick and fast from retailers on their end of year performance for 2011, and after the disastrous results from Tesco, how did other retailers fare?

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) had said the pre-Christmas rush helped to boost UK retail sales in the final quarter. Of course, this was not the consensus across the board, and while on a like-for-like basis sales grew by 2.2% in December compared to 2010, that year was hampered by the snow storm that inflicted much of the UK.

For many, a Christmas boost was not enough to improve either the yearly performance or sentiment looking ahead to a difficult 2012.

Thorntons

Overall sales for the company (Thorntons Group, which includes Thorntons stores, Thorntons Direct and sales at supermarkets) grew 0.6% to £83.7 million for the 14 weeks to 7 January, equalling first half sales of £130.2 million, which is still down 2.5% year on year.

Like-for-like sales at its own stores were however down by 4.2% in the 14 weeks to 7 January.

Shares in Thorntons plunged 15.8% to stand at 11.89p.

Halfords

The firm, which has 470 stores and 250 auto-centres in the UK and Ireland, revealed that revenue was down 2.1% in the final 13 weeks. Total retail revenue fell 4.4% year on year, while car maintenance was affected by the unseasonably warm weather leading to a 12.8% decline in the final 13 weeks of 2011.

However, cycling like-for-like revenue increased by 15.1% in the 13 weeks to December 30.

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