Hotel Chocolat’s sales surged 16.2% over the festive period as customers bought more higher-priced gift items.

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat’s sales rose 14.6%

On a constant currency basis, sales jumped 14.6% over the 13 weeks to December 25.

The chocolatier said retail growth was driven by increases in footfall and items per basket.

Hotel Chocolat’s online business showed “similar momentum”. The retailer launched a new website this month which improved optimisation for smartphones and tablets, better integrates its tasting club subscription service and includes a bespoke ‘gift creator’.

Hotel Chocolat co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “The growing strength of the Hotel Chocolat brand has enabled us to perform well.

“Our seasonal ranges included many new innovations and our café drinks offer adds a new dimension to our experience.”

“Being a UK manufacturer gave us the flexibility to maintain good stock availability right up to the end of the season. I would like to thank the whole team for their energy, enthusiasm and tireless commitment to delivering on our plans.”

The retailer said that trading since December was in line with management’s expectations.

Hotel Chocolat opened 10 new stores during the six months ended December, and now has 90 stores in the UK.