Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat (LON:HOTC) posted a jump in first-half profits on Tuesday, sending shares up.

Pre-tax profit climbed 7% to £13.8 million in the six months to December 30, with revenue of £80.7 million, an increase of 13% on a year ago.

The company attributed growth to a strong performance over the Christmas period, as well as the launch of two new stores in New York and Tokyo.

The retailer also opened an additional 14 new stores across the UK and Ireland, which led to a 4% rise in sales.

In addition, the company saw around 500,000 customers join its new VIP Me Rewards scheme.

Chief executive Angus Thirlwell commented:

“Growth in the UK continued to deliver improvements in profitability which have enabled us to invest in the launch of two new start-ups in New York and Tokyo, both of which are showing encouraging early signs, in terms of customer response and the initial store sales performance,”

He added:v“Recent trading, including the Valentine’s period, is in line with the Board’s expectations and we continue to make good progress against our key strategic objectives of opening more stores, improving our digital capability and increasing our production capacity whilst testing and learning in two large new territories.”

Hotel Chocolat was founded back in 1988 and is headquartered in Hertfordshire. It is the only UK company to grow its own cocoa on its own plantation.

Hotel Chocolat shares (LON:HOTC) are currently +1.63% as of 12:04PM (GMT).