Thorntons warns of reduced orders from supermarket buyer

 
Kasmira Jefford
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THORNTONS said sales were almost flat in the third quarter after a reduction in orders by one of its main supermarket buyers continued to hurt the chocolatier.

The retailer, which issued a profit warning in December after unexpected cut in orders from two grocery chains and problems at its new warehouse, said sales across its fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) division fell 6.7 per cent to £26.5m.

Sales across its retail arm fell 5.4 per cent to £27.7m after it closed five stores in the quarter, taking its estate to 243-owned stores. It aims to eventually have an estate of around 180 to 200 stores.

Like for like sales were broadly flat at 0.1 per cent.

Chief executive Jonathan Hart said it remained cautious about its outlook for the rest of the year and warned that conditions were still tough for many of its shoppers despite the improvement in the economy.

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