Annual sales grow for Hotel Chocolat

Chocolate maker Hotel Chocolat Group has seen strong growth in sales in the UK in its latest financial year.

There are shops in Shrewsbury and at the Merry Hill shopping centre
There are shops in Shrewsbury and at the Merry Hill shopping centre

For the year to June 26 revenue was up 37 per cent to £226.1 million.

The group, which has shops in the Merry Hill shopping centre at Brierley Hill and in Shrewsbury, said UK store sales were 23% higher than the pre-pandemic year of 2018-2019.

The group made an underlying pre-tax profit of £21.7m from £9.6m a year earlier.

A loss after tax of £9.4m was due to exceptional one-off costs.

The group is about a third of the way through its current trading year, with retail trading in line with last year, but online and wholesale sales are lower

The group is adopting a deliberately prudent approach to the outlook on trading, manufacturing controlled levels of seasonal inventory with a strong focus on self-help actions to mitigate inflationary pressures.

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive, said the performance of retail stores was continuing to beat pre-Covid levels and subscriptions are in growth.

"We have reduced online marketing spend resulting in lower volume, but higher quality full-price sales. Our wholesale partners are also showing caution too.

“The Hotel Chocolat brand has huge resonance with shoppers and despite the macro-economic environment, people are still treating themselves with affordable luxury and remaining loyal and we are winning new customers who recognise our quality. Indeed over half of our Christmas gift range is priced between £2.50 and £8.50.

“It goes without saying that the current environment is challenging on multiple fronts. Over the last few months we have taken decisive steps to reduce risk and to fully pull all our self-help Ievers in both our manufacturing and retailing businesses. One thing is for sure, we will never compromise on the brand standards and values which have built our following to this point.

“We remain fiercely ambitious for the Hotel Chocolat brand for growth in both UK and international markets. Our new stores showcasing the format of the future opened in Norwich and Northampton and are trading very strongly. Internationally we intend to utilise more risk-contained techniques to capitalise on the proven brand appeal in major international markets. We will update on developments in due course.

“As we head into our busiest part of the year, I am confident that the strategic direction we have put in place will improve the prospects of the business for significant years to come. Our decisions to focus on full price sales and quality over quantity, coupled with a resurgence of physical store performance means that we anticipate December will be busier than ever."

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News