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Hotel Chocolat hails strong half-year results

Hotel Chocolat saw its half-year pre-tax profit rise by 7% to £10.8 million following strong sales growth across its retail, digital and wholesale channels.

FOOD & DRINK

Hotel Chocolat hails strong half-year results

Hotel Chocolat saw its half-year pre-tax profit rise by 7% to £10.8 million following strong sales growth across its retail, digital and wholesale channels.

In the 26 weeks to 30 December, revenue climbed by 13% to £80.7 million while underlying EBITDA increased by 10% to £17.3 million.

Ecommerce revenues, which included income from the retailer’s website, subscriptions and digital wholesale partners, grew by 22%, or by 29% if expressed at retail prices.

During the period, Hotel Chocolat opened 14 new stores in the UK and Ireland.

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: “This has been another period of progress for Hotel Chocolat with strong growth in sales, profits and cash generation. The critical Christmas period was again successful, supported by the launch of our new and innovative Velvetiser Hot Chocolate maker and by a deepening relationship with our customers via the new VIP Me scheme. Both developments will also support our plans for the key spring seasons of Mother's Day and Easter.”

Hotel Chocolat said a recently opened pilot store i New York and a joint venture shop in Tokyo have shown “encouraging early signs” and that both markets offered significant potential for growth.

Giving an update on more recent trading, the retailer said it had continued to be in line with expectations.

Thirlwell added: "Recent trading, including the Valentine's period, is in line with the board's expectations and we continue to make good progress against our key strategic objectives of opening more stores, improving our digital capability and increasing our production capacity whilst testing and learning in two large new territories."

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