Thorntons hits a new low after third profits alert
Thursday 22 December 2011
Thorntons' shares melted by more than a third to an all-time low yesterday after it warned on profits for the third time this year and said it only expects to "break even".
The 100-year-old retailer blamed "continued weakness in consumer sentiment and high level of promotional activity" for its latest profit downgrade.
Thorntons, which plans to close up to 180 shops over the next three years, issued warnings in February and May and is struggling against intense competition from the upmarket chocolatier Hotel Chocolat and the big supermarkets. Some industry experts believe Thorntons' chocolates have not kept up with the changing taste buds of Britons.
Shares in the retailer, which makes its chocolates in Derby, crashed by 14.25p, or 37 per cent, to 23.25p, the lowest since it floated in 1988.
Thorntons, with 353 company-owned shops and 226 franchise stores, believes its results will be "around break even" for the 53 weeks to June 30, 2012, compared with earlier City forecasts of pre-tax profits between £3m and £4m.
This shows the mountain its chief executive Jonathan Hart, ex-managing director of Caffè Nero, has to climb. Caroline Gulliver, at Espirito Santo, said: "While management has in place a strategy to reduce the store portfolio over the next three years (replacing them with franchised stores), concerns remain as to whether this can happen quickly enough to offset the underlying attrition to high street sales."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are set to welcome second child in spring
I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Kobani: Fifteen-year-old boy taken captive with suspected jihadist 'shot in the head by militant group' fighting against Isis
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...