Thorntons issues profit warning
Wednesday 21 December 2011
Thorntons raised fears of a Christmas flop on the high street today as the chocolatier warned it was trading below hopes and was unlikely to make a profit next year.
The group, which has 579 stores in the UK, said pre-tax profits would be around break-even in the year to June, compared with £4.3 million in the previous year, as intense competition and weak consumer confidence continue to undermine the business.
Thorntons, which plans to shut 180 stores over the next three years as part of a turnaround programme, has suffered as cash-strapped consumers cut back on chocolate treats and previously warned it had lost a large corporate order at its internet division.
There has been a mixed picture in the run-up to Christmas with some major players, such as John Lewis, reporting healthy sales, while official figures for November showed a drop in monthly sales volumes.
Thorntons has struggled so far this financial year, which started in July, with its most recent update showing a near 8% decline in like-for-like sales at its company-owned stores.
The company said high levels of promotional activity in its market place had hit business along with the ongoing drag on consumer confidence.
The City had been expecting pre-tax profits of £3 million to £4 million for the year to June 2012.
The company unveiled a strategic review in June, which as well as the store closures will include improved merchandising, updated layouts and new products.
The group will close a minimum of 120 stores over the three-year strategy period, losing many to expired leases, and will explore opportunities to close up to a further 60 stores.
Thorntons added that it may look to re-site or open stores in the UK's top 100 retail locations if opportunities arise.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...