It's chocs away with profit up at Thorntons

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The Independent Online

It was Forrest Gump's momma who said life was like a box of chocolates because you never know what you're gonna get, and that's certainly rung true for Thorntons investors over the past four years.

Shareholders were fed a series of unfortunate morsels as Thorntons issued gloomy profit warnings, at various points blaming the cold and hot weather alike for chocolaholics failing to pass its thresholds. But yesterday the chocolate-maker finally had sweeter news for investors, with a profit upgrade.

Thorntons, in the middle of a turnaround plan, said sales growth and careful cost management had raised profits above City expectations of £4.6m for this year. It shut 36 high street stores last year, and another 12 in the first half of 2013, taking it down to about 300 shops. It is also growing its online business. Shares, up 140 per cent so far this year, rose another 5p to 100p.