Hotel Chocolat records growth across its global business

The Hotel Chocolat Group has released its latest half year results for the period ended 27 December 2020, with revenues up 11% to £101.9m and gains across its global markets, writes Neill Barston.

Despite challenging wider market conditions amid the pandemic that have impacted on the sector, the premium chocolate brand’s buoyant latest figures also showed pre tax profits up 3% to £15.5m, as well as underlying EBITDA figures up 2%, to £24.9m.

Notably, the business reported strong sales growth in the UK, US and Japan, with British results up 12% reportedly driven by increased multichannel flexibility, with online growth more than offsetting reduction in physical retail sales caused by closures during lockdown trading restrictions.

Within its emerging US business, the company pivoted online sales that led digital growth for the company, recording sales growth of 22%, while in Japan,  joint-venture’s sales to consumers grew by 228% in an encouraging sign of resilience for the firm.

Angus Thirlwell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Chocolat, welcomed the latest set of positive results across its operations.

He said: “The Hotel Chocolat brand stayed strong during a difficult period for all of us. We certainly kept the chocolate flowing thanks to our online capabilities and multichannel expertise. We recorded superb results in the UK, USA and Japan despite Covid-19 restrictions affecting all our physical locations.

“We achieved sales growth during those periods when all UK physical locations were closed, demonstrating the brand’s appeal to our loyal customers, and our flexible business model. “Databases of active customers grew substantially in all three markets, underpinning our confidence of growth in the years to come. In the UK, our multichannel model truly came of age, and excitingly, both Japan and the USA firmly stepped up from the ‘test and learn’ phase into ‘grow and scale’. Total brand sales, through direct-to-consumer and partner channels combined, increased 16% year-on-year.”

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