Shares in Belgium-based discounter Colruyt tumbled today (26 September) after the retailer said annual earnings would be flat year-on-year – sharply below analysts’ forecasts.

Chairman Jef Colruyt said a “slackening” consumer confidence and a “permanently price-competitive market” meant the retailer expects net profit to be “in line” with the previous financial year.

In the 12 months to the end of March, Colruyt generated profit of EUR353.7m, up 3.1% on a year earlier. However, for the new fiscal year, analysts had forecast profit of EUR381.2m, according to a Bloomberg poll of 18 estimates.

Shares in Colruyt were down 3.55% at EUR42.485 at 12:23 CET.