// Hotel Chocolat launches £20m fundraising round to offset store closures due to Covid-19
// Mother’s Day & Easter account for around 12% of the retailer’s total annual revenue
Hotel Chocolat has launched a £20 million fundraising round in a bid to offset the effects of any possible store closures as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The retailer warned it could be forced to close some or all of its stores and that the fundraising round was launched to bolster its balance sheet with the crucial Mother’s Day and Easter trading periods looming.
Hotel Chocolat added that its revenue fell five per cent this month as footfall continued to drop.
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The retailer said in a statement that Mother’s Day and Easter usually make up about 12 per cent of its annual revenue.
It added that trading in the UK, the US and Japan had been encouraging up to the end of February with revenues increasing by six per cent year-on-year in February.
“Considering the challenges faced due to Covid-19, the group is undertaking a placing to raise £20 million which should not only provide the growth capital required but also provide additional flexibility if it so becomes needed over the next few months,” Hotel Chocolat said.
“The Hotel Chocolat brand is strong and the company’s longer-term growth plans and opportunities in the UK, the US and Japan remain unchanged.
“During these uncertain times the company continues to remain focused on protecting its staff and customers.”
The chocolate retailer said it has taken to reduce the impact of Covid-19 virus by rebalancing inventories toward online and digital wholesale.
It added that it “maintains a strong relationship with its lending bank and cash on the balance sheet and is also undertaking proactive measures to reduce costs, optimise working capital and preserve cash”.