Hotel Chocolat profits soar

Hotel Chocolat Group's after-tax profit (pre-exceptionals) rose by 229% to £6.7m in the year to 26 June.

Revenue was up 12% at £91.1m (2015: £81.1m). Proforma revenue rose to £92.6m (2015: £82.6m). EBITDA (pre-exceptional) increased by 57% to £12.3m (2015: £7.8m) and pre-tax profit (pre-exceptional) was up 181% at £8.2m.

Operational highlights:

- Completed £8.3m of capex projects in support of growth strategy

- Opened 7 new stores taking the Group total to 83 stores

- Investment in chocolate factory in Huntington completed on time; capacity increased by over 20%

- New website on track to launch in H1 2017

- Fifth Shop+Cafe format opened in Worcester and trading well

Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: "I am very pleased with our performance since we were admitted to trading on AIM in May this year. Our results are strong, the Hotel Chocolat brand has continued to strengthen and we have made good progress with our three strategic priorities of investing further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, growing our store estate and developing our digital offering.

"Our plans for the peak winter season are well set and I am confident that our Christmas ranges will be our best ever, as customers continue to appreciate our "more cocoa, less sugar" approach throughout all our categories. I look forward to further progress in the year ahead."