Successful Christmas trading has helped a leading chocolate maker in Huntingdon enjoy a surge in profits.
Hotel Chocolat, which has its factory in Redwongs Way, Huntingdon, saw its pre-tax profits rise by 28 per cent to £11.2 million for the six months to Christmas Day last year.
It compares with £8.8 million for the first half of the year.
Sales for the second half of the year went up by 14 per cent to £62.5 million compared to £54.9 million for the first half.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, which has a shop in Peterborough’s Queensgate shopping centre, said: “The critical Christmas period was very successful, helped by good availability, popular and innovative new ranges and significantly increased digital transactions.
“This has been another period of good progress for Hotel Chocolat with strong growth in both sales and
“We have strong plans in place for the key spring seasons of Mother’s Day and Easter and are confident of further progress.
“I would like to thank everyone in the HC team for continuing to work tirelessly to build the business and
strengthen our brand.
“We continue to make good headway against our three key strategic objectives of opening more stores,
improving our digital capability and increasing our production capacity.”
Hotel Chocolat, which employs 600 staff, has recently completed new investment in its Huntingdon factory, which allows it to produce five million extra chocolates.
The firm makes 97 per cent of its products in the UK, which has helped protect it sterlings’s slump against the dollar.
The company also opened 10 new shops during the last half of the year.