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Hotel Chocolat Group (HOTC)

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Wednesday 23 January, 2019

Hotel Chocolat Group

Trading Update

RNS Number : 8085N
Hotel Chocolat Group PLC
23 January 2019
 

23 January 2019

HOTEL CHOCOLAT GROUP PLC

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

 

Trading Update

 

Hotel Chocolat Group plc, a premium British chocolatier and omni-channel retailer, today announces the following trading update for the 13 weeks ended 30 December 2018.

 

Total Group revenue for the period increased 15 per cent compared to the prior year.

 

Retail, digital and wholesale channels all achieved growth. The business opened 15 new stores during the six months ended December and we now have 117 stores in our UK domestic market. 

 

Trading since December continues to be in line with management's expectations. The Board expects to announce the Group's results for the six months ended 31 December 2018 on 26 February 2019.

 

Angus Thirlwell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said: 

 

"This was another strong Christmas for Hotel Chocolat. Our new store openings contributed 5% of the growth in the period, with the balance coming from existing stores, digital and wholesale channels. Our wholesale partnerships were notable successes with strong growth, balancing lower margins with lighter capital investment.

 

"The Velvetiser in-home hot chocolate system quickly garnered rave reviews from press and customers and we sold over three times our initial forecast. Our new Chocolat Cream Liqueur, as featured in our documentary film last week, was also a hit. We invested in the growth of our new VIP Me loyalty scheme, acquiring over 400,000 members during the period, of which over 85% were in-store buyers, not previously on our database.

 

"Initial customer response to our new location in New York and joint venture store in Tokyo has been very encouraging, demonstrating the global appeal of the Hotel Chocolat brand and its ability to travel overseas."

 

 

This announcement is released by Hotel Chocolat and contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (MAR), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR. This announcement is being made on behalf of the Company by Matt Pritchard, Chief Financial Officer of Hotel Chocolat.

 

Enquiries:

Hotel Chocolat Group PLC

Tel: +44 (0) 1763 257 746

Angus Thirlwell, Co-Founder and CEO

Peter Harris, Co-Founder and Development Director

Matt Pritchard, CFO


Liberum (Nominated Adviser and Sole Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Clayton Bush

Andrew Godber

James Greenwood

Trystan Cullen


Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel:  + 44 (0) 20 7638 9571

Angharad Couch

Ellen Wilton

Elizabeth Kittle


 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

Hotel Chocolat is a premium British chocolatier with a strong and distinct 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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