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Thorntons confident of multichannel approach, despite profit warning

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Thorntons today said it was confident of its multichannel approach to trading, despite issuing a profit warning just days ahead of Christmas.

The chocolatier, which should be seeing its best trading at this time of year, today said its revenues had been hit as some supermarkets ordered less and later than expected, and as a result of “short-term difficulties” at its new centralised warehouse which, it said, “resulted in disruption for all our customers.”

As a result, it said, both second-quarter sales and full-year profits were expected to be down on last year.

Thorntons said the move to the new warehouse was “essential to meet current and future business patterns and growth,” and would “result in improved capacity and quality of service for our customers in the future.”

It concluded: “The board remains confident in its strategy, multichannel approach and ongoing transformation.”

Commenting on the update, Julie Palmer, partner and retail expert at Begbies Traynor, said: “While most families will be reaching for the Quality Street and Celebrations this Christmas, it seems Thorntons is still failing to keep pace with the competition, surprising the market with a profit warning at the worst possible time of year for the struggling chocolatier.

“Despite reporting strong sales of its seasonal Christmas products, lower than expected orders from the UK’s largest supermarkets have hit Thorntons hard this festive season, reducing its visibility among its core customer base at what should be one of its busiest trading periods.”

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