The chocolatier reported a 12% sales boost to £104M, in constant currency, for the 52 weeks to June 25. The sales rise was slightly ahead of market expectations, it said.
Hotel Chocolat co-founder and ceo Angus Thilwell said: “Hotel Chocolat has had another good year, with encouraging growth. We are excited about the progress made with our new shop and café format stores, and our seasonal ranges continue to perform well.”
Two new Hotel Chocolat stores opened in the second half of the year, bringing the total number of stores to 12. Retail outlets contributed 5% of the group’s overall sales.
Eight of the outlets featured an in-store café; a format which was “working well”, the chocolatier said. It was in the process of adding a café to its Milton Keynes store, to test how sales will improve by adding cafés to existing stores.
Hotel Chocolat’s spring seasonal ranges delivered encouraging results, it said. Its cocoa-infused ice cream – Ice Cream of the Gods – was introduced in 37 locations, and its new website offered consumers a better shopping experience on mobiles and tablets.
Trading since the close of the financial year continued to be in line with the chocolatier’s expectations.
Earlier this year, an analyst predicted a weaker second half to the year for Hotel Chocolat. Inflation would decrease consumer spending, said analyst GlobalData.
GlobalData analyst Zoe Mills said in February – after Hotel Chocolat reported its first-half results: “Hotel Chocolat’s H2 [second half year] 2016/17 looks set for weaker growth as inflation among the wider economy results in less disposable income for consumers to spend on the retailer’s luxury confectionery.
Hotel Chocolat’s success in the second half would revolve around its ability to draw in consumers with its seasonal Easter and Mother’s Day ranges, the analyst said.
Hotel Chocolat financial year – at a glance
- Sales rise 12%
- Revenue up to £104M at constant currency
- Benefitted from store openings