Hotel Chocolat Group

Repayment of debt

RNS Number : 0473Q
Hotel Chocolat Group PLC
04 June 2018
 

4 June 2018

 

Hotel Chocolat Group plc

("Hotel Chocolat", the "Company" or the "Group")

Repayment of debt

 

Hotel Chocolat Group plc, a premium British chocolatier and omni-channel retailer, today announces the repayment of £6.4m of debt borrowed from its customers in the form of "Chocolate Bonds".

 

In 2010 and 2014, the Chocolate Tasting Club PLC, a subsidiary of the Group, issued two bonds which paid a return in the form of luxury boxes of chocolate or Hotel Chocolat Gift Cards. The bond proceeds were invested in capital projects that supported the growth of the company and developed cocoa sustainability projects in St Lucia and Ghana. At inception, the net cash proceeds received for these bonds were recognised as a liability. Each year the cost value of the chocolates was recognised as an interest expense.

 

The bond proceeds have contributed to:

·     

The creation of 600 jobs in the UK

·     

New store openings in the UK and Ireland

·     

Capital investment in manufacturing in the UK

·     

Increased support for cocoa growers in Saint Lucia and Ghana

·     

Sustainability projects including the creation of four model farms that supply disease-resistant cocoa seedlings and demonstrate best practice cocoa growing techniques to improve yields and farm incomes

·     

A fully operational community medical centre in Osuben, Ghana

 

The bonds were repayable by the company without notice.

 

The company would like to thank the Bondholders for the important role they have played in the growth and development of Hotel Chocolat. The ongoing growth of the business has now increased operating cash generation to the extent that the Board believes the continuation of the above growth and sustainability projects can now be funded using the Group's available working capital.

 

 Angus Thirlwell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Chocolat, said:  "Thanks to the support of our amazing Chocolate Bond-holders, we were able to invest in ethical cocoa, British manufacturing, create hundreds of jobs and then repay them in full, as planned."

For further information:

 

Hotel Chocolat Group plc                                                                                   c/o Citigate

+ 44 (0) 20 7638 9571

Angus Thirlwell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

 

Peter Harris, Co-founder and Development Director

 

Matt Pritchard, Chief Financial Officer

 

 

 

Citigate Dewe Rogerson - Financial PR                                                                          

+ 44 (0) 20 7638 9571

Simon Rigby                                                                                         

 

Angharad Couch

 

Ellen Wilton

 

 

 

Liberum Capital Limited - Nominated Advisor and Broker                       

+ 44 (0) 20 3100 2222

Clayton Bush

 

Jill Li

 

 

Notes to Editors:

Hotel Chocolat is a premium British chocolatier with a strong and distinctive brand. The business was founded in 1993 by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris and has traded under the Hotel Chocolat brand since 2003. The Group sells its products online and through a network of stores in the UK and abroad. The Group has a cocoa plantation and eco-hotel in Saint Lucia, offering complete cocoa immersion thorough tree-to-bar experiences and wellness treatments. The Group also has a flagship restaurant and cocoa roastery in London's Borough Market: Rabot 1745. The Group was admitted to trading on AIM in 2016.  


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