By Jonathan Davies

Thortons has told its shareholders that annual profits will not meet forecasts because of poor sales of its products in supermarkets.

The chocolate retailer said the poor sales were partly due to a supply problem as a new distribution centre was opened in Derbyshire.

But Thortons said those issues are now resolved. It warned that the current slump in sales in the run-up to Christmas will affect the company's performance for the whole year.

Last year, Thortons reported profits of £7.5m.

Thortons said: "The board now anticipates a decline in sales in the UK Commercial channel [supermarkets] for the second quarter of the current financial year.

"The board now expects earnings for the full year to be below those achieved for the last financial year."

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