UK confectioner and snack maker Zetar has reported a fall in annual profits as retailers cut orders in the key Easter selling season.

Zetar, which makes products for retailers and under licence for brand owners, booked a 17.5% drop in adjusted pre-tax profits for the year to 30 April.

Revenue was down 5% thanks to the lower sales at Easter and Zetar’s decision to quit “low-margin” commodity snack products.

The company flagged up the “caution” among UK retailers ahead of Easter in January. Chairman David Williams said today (18 July) suggested retailers may have be too cautious almost all stock sold out before the Easter weekend.

“In hindsight, based on the fact that virtually all stock sold out in advance of Easter weekend, one may conclude that retailers under-ordered and hopefully will be more confident when ordering for next Easter 2013,” Williams said.

The Zetar chairman, who plans to stand down in October after seven years in the role, said the new year had started “well” for the company. Underlying sales in the first 11 weeks of Zetar’s new financial year are up 7%.

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Click here for coverage of just-food’s interview with Zetar management.