Profit before tax grew by 11% to £14.1m during the period, and the group results included £0.5m of sales and £1.2m of losses relating to new investments in locations in the USA, which it said “performed” in line with its business plan. Excluding the USA, group sales grew by 13% and profit before tax grew by 19%.
The retailer also opened 14 new stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and invested in two refits and three relocations to larger sites.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hotel Chocolat, said: “I am pleased to report another year of significant progress for the group with profits growing slightly ahead of expectations.
“In the UK, our physical locations performed well, reflecting their allure and relevance. Growth was underpinned by the combination of leisure, gifts and experiences including Chocolate Lock-in tastings, as well as new ranges of drinks and chocolate-dipped ice lollies.”
He added: “The launch of the innovative Velvetiser, our in-home hot chocolate system, supported strong sales growth and received fantastic customer reviews. Our new VIP ME loyalty scheme attracted over 900,000 active members during the period and we continued to bring new and exciting products to market.”