Hotel Chocolat “on the front foot again”
Hotel Chocolat has posted a decline in sales in the 53 weeks to 2 July but now says work to reset the business is beginning to pay off.
Revenue fell by 10% to £204.5 million in the period as UK store sales rose by 8% and sales from digital and wholesale declined by 24%.
The results meant that the retailer reported an underlying pre-tax loss before exceptional costs of £0.8 million compared to a profit of £21.7 million in the prior year.
However, Hotel Chocolat said it is now making significant progress in its ‘shape of the future’ strategy. Giving an update on its performance in the first quarter of its new financial year, the retailer said UK store revenues were up 14% year-on-year in the 13 weeks to 2 October.
It has also opened four of its planned 12 new stores, which are performing ahead of expectations.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: “Hotel Chocolat is on the front foot again. The hard, foundational work we put in last year is now starting to deliver the results for us.
“Our new store format is trading well above our expectations, with 12 new locations planned to open in the next year. Four of them are open already and they are located across the UK from Glasgow to Bournemouth.”
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