Profit before tax was up 100% for the company to £11.2M, while profit after tax grew to £8.8M – 115% higher than the previous year. Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 32% to £16.3M.
The rise in profits was supported by sales of £105.2M for the company, up 12% on a year-on-year basis.
Earnings per share were up 100% to 7.8p, while dividends were 1.6p per share.
‘Brand has continued to strengthen’
Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “The Hotel Chocolat brand has continued to strengthen and we have made excellent progress with our three strategic priorities of investing further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, growing our store estate and developing our digital offering.
“All our channels are growing. In retail, the new shop and cafe format is proving popular, our new website has improved conversion on mobile devices and, since the year-end, we have signed six new wholesale accounts that will make it easier for consumers to buy Hotel Chocolat products.”
Thirlwell said the performance of retail and internet channels was encouraging future growth for Hotel Chocolat.
“This, of course, depends on the availability of suitable sites. We have further improved our Christmas ranges and this year will be our biggest ever seasonal offering.”
A key highlight this year for the manufacturer was the £4M upgrade of its truffle-making production line, which boosted factory capacity by more than 20%, while truffle-making capacity increased by 70%.
Commenting on the company’s outlook for next year, chairman Andrew Gerrie said: “Despite challenges and uncertainties in the wider economy, trading since the end of the financial period has been encouraging.
“The strength of the brand drives great customer loyalty and we are well positioned for the future, with a strong pipeline of opportunities.”
Hotel Chocolat said it would continue to open more stores and invest in digital to make it easier for consumers to access its products. It would also invest in infrastructure to increase capacity and improve efficiency.
Hotel Chocolat results – at a glance
- Revenue of £105.2M, up 12% year-on-year
- Underlying EBITDA up 32% to £16.3M
- Profit before tax up 100% to £11.2M
- Profit after tax up 115% to £8.8M
- Earnings per share up 100% to 7.8p
- Dividend of 1.6p per share