Thorntons’ consolidation with owner impacts sales

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sales and profits took a hit in Thorntons' 2017 results
Sales and profits took a hit in Thorntons' 2017 results
The consolidation of chocolate manufacturer Thorntons’ relationships with its retail customers and owner Ferrero’s UK business has impacted the producer’s sales and profits, in its second full-year results since the Italian firm bought the company.

Turnover for Thorntons fell £51.5m to £139.8m in the year ending 26 August 2017, a drop of 27% on the previous year. The chocolate maker reported a pre-tax loss of £37.5m, considerably larger than the £19.1m pre-tax loss it recorded in 2016.

A Thorntons spokesman told Food Manufacture​: “The latest results reflect the consolidation of Thorntons’ relationship with major retail customers with that of Ferrero UK, together with a continuing and significant financial investment in the reshaping of different areas of the business.

‘Valuable part of UK business’

“Thorntons is a valuable part of the UK business, and the results reflect our strong commitment to continued growth.”

Ferrero bought the UK chocolate-maker in June 2015, in a deal worth £112m. Sales at the company have been on a steady decline, having reported a 14% dip in its 2016 full-year results.

Thorntons also reported a rise in costs for exceptional items, up 89.8% to £19.3m. The producer attributed these costs to impairment and onerous lease charges, shop closures and restructuring costs.

Integration into the Ferrero group

In the full-year report, Thorntons added: “The company will continue to accelerate management’s ‘rebalance, revitalise and restore’ strategy of recent years, which will continue to evolve as the transition and integration into the Ferrero Group progresses towards establishing Thorntons Limited as an emerging FMCG brand with a strong UK multi-channel retail presence.”

The past week has seen a number of food and drink manufacturers post their full-year and half-year results.

Export growth has helped Marlow Foods, which trades as Quorn and Cauldron Foods, pass £200m in sales last year​, with markets in the US, Nordics, Australia and Germany boosting numbers.

Meanwhile, AG Barr has posted growth​ ahead of the soft drinks industry in its half-year results, as warm weather helped the beverages manufacturer recover from the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap.

Related topics: Business News, Confectionery

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