Hotel Chocolat brushes off high street woes with double digit growth

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Hotel Chocolat annual revenues

Hotel Chocolat has revealed double digit growth in both sales and profits as it remains “confident of further growth” in the UK.

Brushing off the adverse conditions on the high street, the luxury confectionery retailer saw revenues jump 11 per cent year-on-year in the 52 weeks to July 1 to £116 million, while pre-tax profits also jumped 13 per cent to £12.7 million.

The news sent Hotel Chocolat’s share prices jumping three per cent in morning trading, while its earnings per share shot up from 7.8p to 8.8p.

Despite the decline in the sterling reportedly creating pressure on raw material costs, the brand opened 15 new stores across the UK alongside three new international franchises in the US, Japan and Scandinavia.

“The encouraging performance of our UK channels means we remain confident of further growth, with an exciting range of new product innovations for this autumn,” chief executive Angus Thirwell said.

“We are increasingly confident that international expansion presents a growth opportunity, and will be adopting a cautious ‘test, learn, grow’ approach to our new partnership in Scandinavia and our new ventures in the US and Japan, where we intend to open our first stores this winter.”

“Despite challenges and uncertainties in the wider economy the strength of the brand drives great customer loyalty and we are well positioned for the future.”

Edison Investment’s analyst Paul Hickman added: “Hotel Chocolat is becoming something of a role model for controlled brand growth.

“Its main channels are its 113 classic stores including 30 café formats, digital sales running at 14% of total revenue, a growing business through wholesale partners like Amazon, and international. Here, Chocolat has taken its first steps, preparing to open in New York this winter and otherwise cautiously expanding through franchises for Scandinavia and Japan.”

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