UK cider company, HP Bulmer Holdings Plc, has said its year-end profits would be below market forecasts prompting its shares to slide to a 40-month low. The company also said it planned to take restructuring charges. On Friday morning, the company's shares were 11.6% down at 294p, their lowest level since March 1999, which values the company at £156m.

Bulmer, which issued a profit warning in February, said it made a pre-tax profit of £21.1m in the year to the end of April 2002, virtually unchanged from 2000/01. The consensus forecast was for £23m. The full annual results are to be published on Monday.

The company, whose brands include Strongbow and Scrumpy Jack, also said it would take £12.4m ($18.9m) of exceptional charges with the exceptionals figure including restructuring costs in the UK, Australia and the US. Bulmer will also publish details of a review of its international operations. The company made no direct comment on the review but said that its international director, John Harvey, had resigned and that his role would be incorporated into the duties of UK managing director Tim Furse's new role overseeing group strategy.