City&FinanceBriefing Inbrief Potter girl Emma is just magic for Burberrys salesBY SIMON ENGLISH Warm weather sees Thorntons sales melt BRITAIN is a nation of chocoholics -- but not when the suns out. Thats the message from toffee and Viennese truffles house Thorntons, which has seen sales slip during the past 10 weeks. Sales were down 2.7% to 28 million due to the hot weather in June, the company said. The result was not helped by the collapse of Birthdays in May. Birthdays was one of Thorntonss leading franchise operators, selling its goods from 94 outlets. Summer is often a sticky time for Thorntons, which does best over the Easter and Christmas periods. It usually makes a loss in the second half of the year, and has been forced this year into heavy discounting. Businesses have been cutting back on spending in the recession, sending fewer gifts to clients and staff. This has hit Thorntons particularly hard. Sales at Thorntons Direct -- the companys call centre and internet arm -- slumped 31% to just 800,000. Thorntons has been around since 1911 but has suffered a rocky couple of years. Pub chain shrugs off downturn JD Wetherspoon is skirting the crisis in the pub industry. six pubs close every day and many are strug- gling with rising tax and a consumer downturn. At Wetherspoons, which has a chain of 714 pubs, sales in the last 11 weeks fell just 0.8%. over the whole year, like-for-like sales rose 1.2%. Analyst oriel securities saysin a note: Its format is capable of considerable expansion through new openings with scope to dou ble t he nu m b e r of pubs. 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Successful spell: Emma Watson is new face of retailer Blacks stays on recovery road l THE recovery of Blacks Leisure under former Esporta boss Neil Gillis continues. The company behind Millets and Boardwear today said sales in the 19 weeks to 11 July were down 1.8%, a relative improvement. Blacks is in talks with banks about a renewal of its lending facilities, a process it is confident it will complete soon. Land securities west End plans l DEvELOPER Land Securities today outlined start plans for two West End developments next year -- Shelborne House on victoria Street and Park House on Oxford Street -- to open in late 2012 or 2013. Park House will be the biggest development on Oxford Street in more than 40 years and the largest office development in Mayfair for a decade. new LsE chief slows the drop l XAviER Rolet presented his first update as chief executive of the London Stock Exchange today and it was broadly welcomed by the City. The 49-year-old, who took over from Clara Furse in May, said first-quarter revenues were down 8% on last year to 161.9 million, better than the 151 million estimated by analysts. 36 Wednesday, 15 July 2009 London Lite the arrival of harry potter actress emma Watson as the new face of Burberry has helped the fashion house to some spell-binding numbers. sales at the companys stores -- including key outlets in regent street and Knightsbridge were up 12% in the past three months. Watson, who joined the Burberry stable last month, is appearing in ads for the luxury goods group best-known for its black and red checks. But she couldnt keep sales of Burberry goods up in other stores. the wholesale arms sales slumped 28% in the same period. Finance chief stacey Cart- wright blamed the numbers on wholescale destocking by customers in a challenging environment. the figures were better than many in the City feared, how- ever, and analysts are betting on a strong recovery during the run-up to Christmas. Burberry says it is taking market share from rivals, espe- cially in America. It responded quickly to the recession by slashing costs and 800 jobs, about 15% of its workforce. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: Burberry has made a solid start to the year in what remains a challenging environment. overseas sales are patchy, with spain a continuing prob- lem. russia and parts of the Middle east are also difficult, but China continues to per- form strongly. Burberry opened its first retail store in Bahrain earlier this year. the shares fell 70% last year as investors bet the recession would hurt the fashion trade. they were today fractionally lower at 4261 /2p. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html