Thorntons issues profit warning
Thorntons issued a profit warning today in its trading update for the 16 weeks up to 30 April 2011. The retailer said that the warm weather over Easter and weak footfall had contributed to a 22.8% drop in like-for-like sales compared to the same week in the previous year.
While overall Group sales since January were down slightly by 0.7%, Own Store sales declined by 13.9% to £31.14million with a like-for-like sales decline of 12.6%.
Thorntons said that it now expected pre-tax profits for the year to 25 June to be £3-£4.5million. This is down from the £6.1million achieved last year.
Jonathan Hart, Thorntons chief executive, said: “The past quarter has been extremely challenging particularly in our Own Stores and for Franchisees and we foresee the prospect of this weakness in high street footfall and spending continuing. We have taken a number of actions including adjusting our trading strategy and aggressively managing our overhead costs, as well as ensuring that our production is geared to likely demand.”
He continued: “Additionally we took steps to ensure that our ice cream was available in more stores than last year ahead of the Easter trading period. However, these significant additional sales were insufficient to offset the impact of the weather on those of our core chocolate items.“
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