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Investors acquire taste for Hotel Chocolat

Confectioner said revenue in the 52 weeks to June 26 increased 12% to £92.6mln
Investors acquire taste for Hotel Chocolat
Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said Hotel Chocolat has started well as a listed company

Shares in Hotel Chocolat Group plc (LON:HOTC) sweetened up after the luxury confectioner served up forecast-topping revenues.

The stock rose 5.2p, or nearly 3%, to 180.7p as Hotel Chocolat said revenue in the 52 weeks to June 26 increased 12% to £92.6mln, which was slightly above expectations.

Online sales drove the progress, with digital retail revenues rising by a fifth against the same period a year ago.

Highlights included a boost from the company's Father's Day campaign 'Better than Socks'.

Hotel Chocolat opened a shop in Sheffield in May and expects to launch four more later this year.

The group said capital projects including its expansion of manufacturing space at its Cambridge site were on schedule and within budget.

Trading since the end of June had met its expectations. Hotel Chocolat listed on the AIM market in May.

Co-founder and chief executive Angus 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."

Liberum Capital, which has a 'buy' recommendation and a 230p target price on the shares, said the statement was reassuring.

"We have a high degree of confidence in forecasts and as we discuss below we feel Hotel Chocolat possesses the many attributes of a high quality business," the broker said.

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Hotel Chocolat Group Timeline

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