Chocolate maker Zetar sees egg on its face at Easter

Easter egg sales could well be down on last year, one of the country'stop five manufacturers said yesterday.

The confectionery and snacks group Zetar makes chocolate eggs for supermarkets and children's character eggs under its own Kinnerton brand.

Ian Blackburn, chief executive, said: "Easter is still more than two months away, but the initial signs are that own-label orders are some 5 per cent to 10 per cent below last year." He is optimistic about following the success of Bailey's and Famous Grouse chocolates with a range of Guinness Confectionery and steak and Guinness-flavoured bar snacks.

Zetar has also been licenced by Britvic to produce a Tango range of orange-flavoured chocolate.

The company's first-half profits rose by 13 per cent to £2.8m on sales up 2.4 per cent at £61.8m.