British confectionary retailer Thorntons reported a 4.5 per cent drop in full-year profit as tighter margins offset an increase in sales.
Thorntons, which has about 379 stores, posted a pre-tax profit of £8.09 million for the year ended June 27, while sales jumped from £208.1 million to £214.8 million. Results were backed by one-off £1.8 million pension scheme credit.
Sales grew about 6 per cent in the second half of the year, while full-year revenues soared to £215 million, up 3.2 per cent.
Mike Davies, Company's CEO said, "For eight weeks at the peak of the credit crunch it was tough, but we have been performing better since then."
Mike Davies further said that economic downturn appeared to be easing and trade was improving.
Thorntons managed to pay back £1.6 million, cutting its debt to £26.7 million.
However, corporate sales of confectionary to businesses fell by about 31 per cent as a result of recession.
Improving results sent shares in Thorntons up 15½p to 108p.
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