Chocolate firm Thornton's shares are a perennial underperformer, above £2 in May 2007 but now, at 81½p, lower than they were at the start of 2009. The problem, as was made clear in May's profit warning, is the high street chain. Commercial sales in the first half to the end of June, that is, chocolates that Thorntons make for others, rose by 10 per cent, but in the high street operation, which represents about three fifths of the group, they fell by 3.7 per cent as customers stayed away and the company cut prices. Sell, says the Times. [9 Sep '10]
It's back to square one for London with the Footsie virtually unchanged at the end of the morning session after early losses were wiped out. News that the US markets look set to open firmer after yesterday's triple-digit fall for the Dow has bolstered confidence this side of the pond. [8 Sep '10]
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