Thorntons thrives on celebration days as Easter bunny delivers the goods


The Easter bunny delivered the goods for retailer Thorntons, which has upgraded its profit forecasts after robust recent trading.

As well as Easter, the 317-store chocolatier also hailed "similarly satisfactory results" from both Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, sending its shares up by more than 8 per cent to 75p.

Its trading performance around the three crucial periods led Thorntons to suggest that profits will be ahead of City forecasts of £3.1m for the year to 29 June, compared with just £900,000 in 2011-12.

The upgrade is in contrast to the weather-related excuses from previous management for profit warnings, and vindicates the turnaround strategy of Jonathan Hart, the chief executive since January 2011.

He has embarked on a programme to close up to 180 struggling stores, improve products, reduce supply chain costs and increase supermarket sales.

Bethany Hocking at Investec said the continued momentum in the business was "good news".