Hotel Chocolat eyes up new stores as profits and revenue rise
Strong Christmas trading, a new range of cocoa-based beauty products and ten store openings helped Hotel Chocolat’s revenues and profits climb in the first half of last year.
The upmarket chocolatier celebrated “a period of strong progress”, reporting that the company’s revenues grew 14.7% to £71.7mn in the sixth months to December.
Hotel Chocolat hailed the success of its advent calendars, its digital offerings and its new expanded portfolio, for the positive earning results.
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Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: "This has been another period of strong progress for Hotel Chocolat with growth in both sales and profits.
"The critical Christmas period was again successful, helped by further improvements in availability, our best ever seasonal range and the extension of our one-stop gift solutions range."
Thirlwell also added that the company had developed a new beauty range with the help of its chairman former Lush boss Andrew Gerrie.
She reported that the range had been “extremely successful” since its launch in November.
Hotel Chocolat has defied high street gloom which Thirlwell says is also partly due to the company’s rapid store expansion whereby, in the 26 weeks to 31 December, it opened 10 new stores.
The group said that that the success of these new openings meant that the company would explore the prospect of opening more sites sooner than previously expected.
Online sales on the company’s website and through platforms like Ocado and Amazon also helped to boost the company’s profits.
This month the group also moved to expand its consumer reach with the launch of Mbox, a weekly subscription box for chocolate fans.
Thirlwell remained optimistic about the group’s ongoing performance noting: "Recent trading, including Valentine's Day period, is in line with the Board's expectations and we continue to make good progress against our three key strategic objectives of opening more stores, improving our digital capability and increasing our production capacity.