• Hotel Chocolat full-year retail sales rose 12%
  • Online sales grew 20% over the period
  • The retailer plans to open four new stores this year


Hotel Chocolat has unveiled a full-year sales increase “slightly ahead of market expectations”, driven by rising online sales.

The confectionery specialist posted a 12% rise in sales to £92.6m in the 52 weeks to June 26 in its inaugural trading update since floating on the London Stock Exchange in May.

The specialist retailer said its rise in sales was “slightly ahead of market expectations” as online sales continued to grow at pace, up 20% during the period. 

In an exclusive interview with Retail Week, co-founder Angus Thirlwell said 2016/17 would be a “digital year” for Hotel Chocolat, with the launch of its new-look website poised for after Christmas.

However, bricks-and-mortar is also set to be a focus of the specialist retailer in the year ahead. Hotel Chocolat opened one new store in Sheffield over the past 12 months and plans to open a further four outlets by the end of this year.

The confectionery specialist swung to a £3m profit in its full-year results in January and will expect to continue this momentum after its share price surged 28% from 148p to 190p on its first day of trading on AIM.

Thirlwell said: “Hotel Chocolat has had a good start as a listed company, with pleasing growth slightly above expectations.

“We remain confident in our strategy. Our plans to invest further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, in new stores, and in our digital offering are all progressing well.”