Crunch hits Character

The Character group has issued a profit warning ahead of the Christmas sales period, blaming low consumer confidence.
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The credit crunch, which has become a full-blown recession, has impacted on the group which said retailers had cut back orders ahead of the key Christmas trading period due to a plunge in consumer confidence after the global financial crisis.

"They're very, very reluctant to take in inventory," Finance Director Kiran Shah said, adding Character had seen a "double digit" percentage drop in sales volumes in recent weeks.

Character said profit before tax for the year ended August 31st, 2008, was likely to be £5m ($7.5 million), in line with analysts' expectations.

The firm has forecasted that group turnover in calendar year 2009 will surge from £100m to £145m, based on confidence in a number of new lines.

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