Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:22 UK

Thorntons sees shares fall after 2010 profit warning

Thorntons chocolates
Thorntons says people are buying its goods in supermarkets not its outlets

UK chocolate maker and seller Thorntons has issued a profit warning, saying sales have been hit by a disappointing Easter period and bad weather.

Thorntons cut its pre-tax profits guidance for the year to £7.5m, against the City's forecast of about £8.9m.

It said like-for-like shop sales were down 4.6% in the 14 weeks to 17 April, and was cautious about the year ahead.

Shares in Thorntons fell by 11.8%, or 14.75 pence, at 110.25p in London trade on Tuesday.

Thorntons said it appeared as though the public were buying their chocolates from supermarkets instead of its own stores.

The company has launched new lines, including Praline Melts and an expanded ice cream selection, which it hopes will boost sales in the quieter summer months.

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