Hotel Chocolat profit ahead of expectations
Hotel Chocolat has seen its full year profit rise ahead of its board’s initial expectations after it benefited from its work to make the business a digitally-led brand.
In the 52 weeks to 27 June, pre-tax profit before exceptional costs climbed to £10.1 million from £2.4 million in the previous year. In addition, revenue increased by 21% to £164.6 million despite stores being closed or disrupted for six months of the period due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, the retailer said over 70% of its revenue came from digital, continuity products and partners in the period.
During the period, Hotel Chocolat continued to innovate by launching new Velvetiser flavours, enhanced gifting ranges, and a new Rabot Estate Coffee range of coffee.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: “These results show we have now evolved from a UK store-led brand to a globally ambitious digital-led brand. FY21 was a year where Hotel Chocolat improved on many fronts. Our digital and subscription-continuity models surged ahead and our global aspirations racked up more strong growth and progress.
“The continued challenges of Covid-19 pushed us to accelerate many of our existing plans and strategic initiatives, helping to strengthen our financial position, improve our multichannel capability, deepen customer engagement and loyalty, and accelerate the rate of product innovation, whilst continuing to make good progress in our two new and sizeable markets of the USA and Japan.”
During the year, Hotel Chocolat developed its new Hotel Chocolat Gentle Farming Charter, which aims to enable every farmer that supplies Hotel Chocolat to earn a living income in return for “climate-smart” farming.
Looking at current trading, the retailer said it was in line with management expectations for the first 13 weeks of the new financial year.
Thirlwell added: “I am confident that the strategic progress we have achieved over the past year has improved the performance and prospects of the business for significant years to come.”
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