Thorntons expects lower earnings

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British chocolate maker Thorntons said it expects full-year earnings to be lower than last year.

The company said it had suffered from a decline in second-quarter sales. It has also experienced warehousing problems at its UK commercial business in the run-up to Christmas.

Thorntons also said that it had seen a “significant reduction” in expected orders from the major grocers, who also took in stock later than anticipated.

In a trading statement, Thorntons said: “Our warehousing and distribution facility is now working normally. The move to a centralised warehouse was essential to meet current and future business patterns and growth. This will result in improved capacity and quality of service for our customers in the future. Timely management action has resulted in good control of costs and stocks. Christmas seasonal specialities have sold well and no significant excess seasonal stock is anticipated.

“The board remains confident in its strategy, multi-channel approach and ongoing transformation. A further trading update will be issued on January 19 2015.”