New chocolate chief awaited

Thorntons, the chocolate maker and retailer, said it was ready to appoint a new chief executive after reporting a pounds 1.6m fall in profits to pounds 10.5m for last year. The unnamed candidate will come aboard in January. David Mitchell, the previous UK managing director, has already left. After a disappointing Christmas, the company blamed the hot weather for a reduction in demand for chocolates over the summer.

Investment column, page 22