Thorntons hit by poor Easter profit warning

CHOCOLATE maker Thorntons issued a profit warning yesterday after bad winter weather and competition from supermarkets hit Easter sales, forcing it to give a cautious outlook for the year.

Thorntons said it now expected to post a full-year pre-tax profit before exceptionals of around £7.5m against £8.9m forecast in a Thomson Reuters poll.

In a statement, Thorntons said group sales since January were up 3.1 per cent to £60.3m, although own-store sales were down 4.9 per cent. Like-for-like sales in the 14 weeks up to and including 17 April fell 4.6 per cent.