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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 21:44 GMT 22:44 UK
Slow Easter egg sales hit profits
The Derbyshire chocolate maker Thorntons says its profits will be hit by poor sales over this year's important Easter period.

A combination of lack of interest in the festival and this year's warm Easter period are being blamed.

Thorntons said sales of chocolate eggs were lower than expected at Easter and fell by 7% compared with last year.

The company has cut its full-year profit forecasts to just over 7m, from 8.25m.

"Less of a celebration"

Sales made during the three-week Easter period represent around 10% of Thorntons' sales for the whole year.

The Somercotes-based company sold around 1.6m eggs during that time.

Officials say Easter is becoming less of a celebration than other occasions such as Christmas, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day.

But last week retailer Woolworths also blamed the warm weather for slow chocolate egg sales in the run-up to Easter.

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