ANALYST VIEWS: CAN THORNTONS SURVIVE IN THE TOUGH RETAIL CLIMATE?

 
Kasmira Jefford
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DAVID JEARY | INVESTEC
We infer… a mixture of both sales and gross margin weakness has prompted the revised PBT guidance... We understand that covenants would not be breached at the projected level of guidance.

AMISHA CHOHAH | MERCHANT SECURITIES
The high gearing, with net debt of £24.5m in 2011 and set to grow further, is a serious concern combined with the weak UK macros and the unproven new strategy. We expect the group to reduce or eliminate their dividend payment.

SANJAY VIDYARTHI | ESPIRITO SANTO
While management has in place a strategy to reduce the store portfolio... to around 200 over the next three years, concerns remain as to whether this can happen quickly enough to offset the underlying attrition to high street sales.