Hotel Chocolate reports £9.4m loss, but expects last-minute Christmas bounce
The company said in a statement that the losses were incurred after a series of one-off costs linked to the closure of high street stores in the US, as well as the restructuring of its joint venture in Japan.
Those costs offset a 37% rise in revenue for the period to £226m, and it has assured the market it was still on track for its busiest December yet.
It earlier posted an underlying profit before tax and exceptional costs of £21.7 for its latest financial year, more than double the previous 12 months, due to the success of its hot chocolate ‘velvetiser’ machine subscriptions.
Angus Thirlwell, the company’s co-founder and Chief Executive, said it was too early to provide an annual financial forecast for the group due to the return of last-minute “pre-pandemic shopping habits”.
"We're finding that people need chocolate," Thirlwell said. "We've seen this in other recessionary times before, for example 2008, we were very resilient then.
“The Hotel Chocolat brand has huge resonance with shoppers and despite the macroeconomic environment, people are still treating themselves with affordable luxury and remaining loyal and we are winning new customers who recognise our quality.”
The company said it will provide a full update in January 2023. Hotel Chocolat has more than 100 stores across the UK and a chocolate factory in Cambridgeshire.