Luxury chocolatier Hotel Chocolat has reported strong annual trading, in sharp contrast to the slowdown on the rest of the high street.
The firm, which is eyeing up new stores in Yorkshire, said it is homing in on sites in Halifax and Huddersfield.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive, said: “We’ve opened in the York Designer Outlet and that is doing really well.
“We are still looking in Halifax and Huddersfield and we are gradually honing in. It’s really important we get the best locations. We are prepared to sit it out to get the best location and the best deal in town. We’ve got meetings in Halifax and Huddersfield this week.”
The firm said its range of chilled Chocolat drinks, ice cream and other summer favourites have been very popular during the recent heatwave.
“The real power product is Ice Cream of the Gods, which is now in 50 locations. It storms it in the hot weather,” said Mr Thirlwell.
Other heatwave favourites are Chocs to Chill, a range of chocolates that are formulated to taste better straight out of the fridge. “They are perfect for barbecues, sultry evenings and al fresco dinner parties,” said Mr Thirlwell.
The group has also improved its Cocoa Beers to include a darker beer and a Cocoa Blonde. Hotel Chocolat reported double-digit sales growth after it opened 15 new stores, which helped lift sales by 6 per cent. Revenue for the year to July 1 was £116m.