Hotel Chocolat ‘performs well’ over festive trading period

Hotel Chocolat has published a trading statement
Hotel Chocolat has published a trading statement
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Hotel Chocolat has revealed that it “performed well” in the run-up to Christmas.

The company has published a trading update for the 13 weeks ended December 25 2016.

Total group revenue for the period increased 16.2 per cent compared with the prior year, or 14.6 per cent on a proforma constant currency basis, the company said.

The statement said: “Retail growth was driven by increases in footfall and items per basket, with customers also choosing to buy more higher-priced gift items. The digital business showed similar momentum, and in January a new website launched; improvements include optimisation for smartphones and tablets, a bespoke ‘gift creator’ service for delivered gifts, and better integration of the tasting club subscription service.”

The business opened 10 new stores during the six months ended December, and now has 90 stores in the UK. Seven of the new stores included the signature drinks offer of Hot Chocolat, coffee-chocolate and light cocoa infusions.

“Trading since December continues to be in line with management’s expectations. The board expects to announce the group’s results for the six months ended December 25 2016 on February 22 2017.

Angus Thirlwell, the co-founder and chief executive officer, said: “The growing strength of the Hotel Chocolat brand has enabled us to perform well. Our seasonal ranges included many new innovations and our cafe drinks offer adds a new dimension to our experience.”

“Being a UK manufacturer gave us the flexibility to maintain good stock availability right up to the end of the season. I would like to thank the whole team for their energy, enthusiasm and tireless commitment to delivering on our plans.”

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