// Hotel Chocolat Reports Earnings Surge Above Initial Board Expectations
// 70% of all sales were generated through the distributor’s digital channels, partners and “continuity products”
Hotel Chocolat reported pre-tax profit ahead of market expectations and rising sales as its online strategy helped it protect against Covid-19 store closures.
In its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to June 27, the retailer reported profit before tax and exceptional costs of £10m, up from £2.4m last year and ahead. on market expectations.
Additionally, revenue rose 21% to £164.6m despite stores being closed or halted for six months of the period due to Covid-19 restrictions.
However, the retailer said more than 70% of its income came from digital, product and partner continuity over the period.
When UK stores reopened in April, Hotel Chocolat said “sales growth accelerated further” across all channels, reinforcing the importance of its “multi-channel sales model”.
During the period, the company continued to innovate with the release of new Velvetiser flavors, enhanced gift lines and a new line of Rabot Estate Coffees.
Hotel Chocolat General Manager Angus Thirlwell said: “These results show that we have now moved from a UK store-led brand to an ambitious digital-led brand on a global scale. FY21 was a year where Hotel Chocolat improved on many fronts. Our digital and subscription continuity models have moved ahead and our global aspirations have seen stronger growth and progress.
“The continued challenges of Covid-19 have driven us to accelerate many of our existing strategic plans and initiatives, helping to strengthen our financial position, improve our multi-channel capability, deepen customer engagement and loyalty, and accelerate the pace of product innovation, while continuing to make good progress in our two important new markets of the United States and Japan.”
During the year, the Hôtel Chocolat developed its the new Hôtel Chocolat Soft Agriculture Charter, which aims to enable each farmer who supplies the Hôtel Chocolat to earn a living in exchange for “climate-smart” agriculture.
Looking at the current trade, the retailer said he was in lin line with management’s expectations for the first 13 weeks of the new fiscal year.
Thirlwell added, “I am confident that the strategic progress we have made over the past year has improved the company’s performance and prospects for years to come.”
“Finally, I would like to thank our colleagues for their hard work during the year. I am incredibly proud of how Hotel Chocolat has adapted to the disruptions caused by Covid-19 and would also like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty, and our partners for their collaboration.
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