Chocolate maker in Huntingdon enjoys sweet taste of success as sales and profits soar

Hotel Chocolat is enjoying the sweet taste of sales success.
Hotel Chocolat is enjoying the sweet taste of sales success.
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Shoppers have been unable to resist the luxury confectionery served up by Hotel Chocolat which has reported a surge in sales.

The Huntingdon-based luxury chocolate maker has reported an impressive hike in sales and profits.

Figures released by the company show that revenue hit £105.2 million - up 12 per cent on last year while profits before tax were up 100% to £11.2 million.

The results are for the year to July 2, 2017 during which the company opened a shop in Peterborough's Queensgate shopping centre.

Chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: "Consumers increasingly want uncompromisingly delicious and hedonistic chocolate that's also made with responsible amounts of sugar.

"Hotel Chocolat's 13-year track record of "more cocoa, less sugar" is applied to every grade of chocolate, from our whites, through milks and darks. This makes us virtually unique amongst premium chocolate brands."

He said: "I am pleased to report another year of growth and good results. The Hotel Chocolat brand has continued to strengthen and we have made excellent progress with our three strategic priorities of investing further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, growing our store estate and developing our digital offering.

"All our channels are growing. In retail, the new Shop+cafe format is proving popular, our new website has improved conversion on mobile devices and since the year-end, we have signed six new wholesale accounts that will make it easier for consumers to buy Hotel Chocolat products.

"Given the encouraging performance of our retail and internet channels, along with the pipeline of opportunities ahead of us,we are confident of further growth. This of course depends on the availability of suitable sites. We have further improved our Christmas ranges and this year will be our biggest ever seasonal offering.

"The market and wider economy may not be without challenges, but we still have significant addressable market headroom in the UK and benefit from having distribution and manufacturing directly under our control, which supports the resilience of our business.

"New ventures with online wholesale partners and a new international retail partner in Asia offer the potential to create new avenues for growth."