The AIM 100 chocolatier said revenues for the year ended 30 June had risen 14% on the prior year, adding that full-year pre-tax profits were expected to be in line with market expectations.
New store openings had numbered 16 during the year, which had helped boost sales by 5%. Two of the new stores were in the US while a new joint venture had also seen two outlets open their doors in Japan.
The company also said that trading in the first weeks of its current year had been in line with management expectations.
Angus Thirlwell, Hotel Chocolat’s co-founder and chief executive, said new initiatives launched during the year, namely its Velvetiser in-home drinking chocolate system and a VIP ME rewards scheme, provided “substantial future growth opportunities” going forward in addition to the new store openings.
He added that its new product ranges were “generating lots of excitement”, with the company witnessing the “most prolific new product Instagramming” in its history.
Trading “beating expectations”, says broker
In a note, analysts at the company’s ‘house’ broker Liberum said the performance was “beating expectations” and that the strategy of broadening routes to market and investing in innovation and customer loyalty was “combining to deliver outperformance”.
They added that with the UK retail model accelerating its growth trajectory and “nascent” international operations, the outlook for the group was “exciting”.
Liberum currently has Hotel Chocolat rated at ‘buy’ with a target price of 410p.
In late-morning, the shares were 2.7% higher at 364.5p.