Hotel Chocolat Group PLC (LON:HOTC) have seen their shares bounce on Tuesday, as the firm posted a strong set of interim results.
The firm did not change its dividend, and alluded to rising revenues and profits across the first half of its financial year.
Shares in Hotel Chocolat trade at 419p (+9.04%). 25/2/20 11:19BST.
Across the half year period, which ended on December 29 – the chocolate retailer reported that revenues had jumped 14% to £91.7 million from £80.7 million from a year ago. Notably, pretax profit also rose 8.2% to £15 million from £13.8 million.
Hotel Chocolat praised these results following the opening of nine new stores, which gives a total store portfolio of 125 sites. Additionally an increase in retail, wholesale and digital sales drove the strong performance.
The firm proposed an interim dividend of 0.6 pence, remaining consistent from a year ago.
Angus Thirlwell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Chocolat, said:
“This was another strong period for Hotel Chocolat. Our new store openings contributed three percentage points of the growth in the period, with the remaining balance coming from existing locations, digital and wholesale channels. While our new markets in the US and Japan are still in the early stages of development, consumer response to the brand is encouraging, sales are growing, and we believe we have a deliverable plan to achieve attractive returns.
“The Velvetiser in-home hot chocolate system achieved strong growth, with our installed Velvetiser owner base showing great loyalty and enthusiasm for our widening library of flavours, with Tasmanian Mint, Habanero Chilli, and Maple & Pecan hot chocolates becoming instant hits. Our VIP loyalty scheme continued to grow strongly and contributed to double digit EBITDA growth from our physical UK locations.
“Our strong growth came from a wider variety of sales channels than in previous years, which led to some initial challenges in our supply chain. We are now making good progress with investments and upgrades in our supply chain which will fully address these inefficiencies and increase our international and multi-channel supply capability, ensuring we continue to deliver profitable growth.”