A former boss of confectionary giant Mars has been appointed chief executive of Thorntons.

Mike Davies, who was previously president of Latin America for Mars, will take on the role at the Derbyshire-based company with immediate effect.

He will replace Peter Burdon who resigned last month after announcing a slump in profits at the firm.

Thorntons saw pretax profits of £5.2 million for the year to June 24, compared to £8.1 million last year. Like-for-like sales fell 3.7 per cent over the year, although the reduction slowed in the second half to 1.8 per cent.

Thorntons chairman and former Budgens chief executive John von Spreckelsen welcomed the new appointment.

He said: "We are delighted that Mike has agreed to join Thorntons. Mike's knowledge and experience complements that of our existing team and will prove invaluable as we implement our growth strategy."