SHARES in SpaceandPeople, the shopping centre marketing specialist, plunged around 40% after the company slashed its profit forecast for this year following sales shortfalls in its core UK and German retail operations.

Glasgow-based Spaceandpeople said it expects to make £1.5m pre-tax profits in the year to December, £1.4m lower than expected.

The news came weeks after chief executive Matthew Bending said he was confident 2014 would be another record year for the company.

On 24 March SpaceandPeople said it increased pre-tax profits to £2.4m in 2013, from £2.3m.

The economic recovery has encouraged some firms to increase spending on marketing.

But SpaceandPeople said yesterday: "In the three months to 31 March 2014, the Company has experienced a cumulative 12% shortfall in revenues compared with management's forecast." The company expects the trend to continue for the rest of the year in the UK and German promotions and retail businesses.

It added: "Revenue for these businesses will be £1.7 million (13%) lower than budget."

SpaceandPeople, which withdrew from lower margin contracts with some UK shopping centres last year, said sales in new venues in the UK were slower than anticipated.

The company said it has faced increased restrictions on selling some retail categories, without giving details.

It said delays in obtaining local authority permits to trade in new centres in Germany had resulted in lost sales opportunities, adding: " German retail - delayed roll-out plan throughout the year and lower than expected occupancy in the first 6 months of the year."

The company said its board is confident growth in revenue in the core business will resume "towards the end of 2014 as new business wins gain traction".

It forecast a pre-tax profit for 2015 of £2m to £2.5m.

Shares in SpaceandPeople closed down 39.25%, 52p at 80.5p.