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Hotel Chocolat ups profit forecasts and reveals plans for 250 jobs as sales soar

·1-min read
Hotel Chocolat recently launched joint venture offerings in the US and Japan (PA Wire)
Hotel Chocolat recently launched joint venture offerings in the US and Japan (PA Wire)

Hotel Chocolat bosses have upped profit forecasts as the AIM-listed chain sees sales soar despite lockdowns.

The gifting go-to chocolate maker said in a trading update that in the year to June 27 it saw revenues up 21% on the prior year to £165 million, with sales since non-essential retail stores reopened in mid-April up 63% on the same period in 2020.

The company said it has grown its UK customer base by 66% to 3 million since December 2019, and is seeing online sales at its US joint-venture start-up offering soar.

The firm, which completed a £22 million equity raise in March 2020 and is to return £3.1 million of furlough cash to the Treasury, added that it has negotiated lower rents on 30% of its UK stores. It now plans to hire 250 staff this year.

Co-founder and CEO, Angus Thirlwell, said: "Our goal of becoming the most tech-activated chocolate brand is moving forward in leaps and bounds... This year we expect more than 50% of our sales to come from digital, partners, and subscription-continuity models, reflecting how Hotel Chocolat is growing and evolving."

Shares were up 2.8% on Tuesday morning.

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