Hotel Chocolat reveals ‘better-than-expected’ profits as online push pays off


Hotel Chocolat has notched up a better-than-expected annual profit haul as its shift towards online sales helped offset lengthy lockdown store closures.

The luxury chocolate retailer reported underlying pre-tax profits jumping to £10.1 million in the year to June 27, up from £2.4 million the previous year.

On a statutory basis, the group, which is stocked in Waitrose, swung to a £7.8 million pre-tax profit from losses of £7.5 million the year before.

Revenues rose 21 per cent to £164.6 million, with more than 70 per cent of sales made online, as well as through partners and subscriptions, helping it overcome six months of store closures due to Covid restrictions.

READ MORE: Waitrose launches Hotel Chocolat branded space within stores

The digital push has seen online sales overtake store sales for the first time in the group’s history, ratcheting up from just 15 per cent of total business in 2019.

The firm said sales growth also ramped up further from April as high streets were allowed to reopen.

The group confirmed it repaid £3.1 million of furlough cash on September 24, as previously announced, thanks to the robust performance throughout the crisis.

Hotel Chocolat said it remains “committed” to the high street but said a strategy led by online sales will offer the best growth outlook.

“We can achieve faster overall growth and higher customer lifetime value by continuing with our digital-first strategy, with both channels playing a crucial and complementary role,” the group said.

It added its expanded global reach would further bolster its performance.

“These results show we have now evolved from a UK store-led brand to a globally ambitious digital-led brand,” Hotel Chocolat co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said.

Analysts at Liberum praised a “transformational” year for the retailer.

They said: “From a UK centric brand five years ago to one with global ambitions, the last year has seen the group raise fresh capital to set these foundations in place.”

with PA Wires

Click here to sign up to Grocery Gazette’s free daily email newsletter



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.



Sign up to our daily newsletter to get all the latest grocery news and insights direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.