Supermarkets sweep Thorntons off shelves

 

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The Independent Online

Shares in Thorntons slumped 22 per cent to 92p yesterday after the chocolate maker struck the first retail profit warning of the festive period.

The group said warehouse delivery problems and trouble with supermarket orders meant sales in the Christmas period will be lower than last year. Annual earnings will be below last year’s £7.5m.

The company suffered “a significant reduction in previously indicated orders from the major grocers” as well as “significant short-term difficulties” with its new centralised warehouse, which triggered disruption for all its customers. Thorntons’ 249 stores sold more chocolate Santas and selection boxes than last year – but that didn’t reverse its other struggles.

But shoppers should not look forward to a blitz of cheap chocolate in January. “Timely management action has resulted in good control of costs and stocks – no significant excess seasonal stock is anticipated,” Thorntons said.

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