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Hotel Chocolat Shares Jump After Strong Christmas

Sam Boughedda
Sam Boughedda trader
Updated 19 Jan 2023

Hotel Chocolat (LON: HOTC) shares rallied Thursday after the company performed strongly over the Christmas period, setting a new record for Christmas campaign sales across the UK store estate.

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In addition, the premium chocolatier and omnichannel retailer said it experienced its strongest-ever sell-through of full-price seasonal products, with Christmas inventory into January sales -80% lower year on year.

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The company’s shares are up more than 11% at the time of writing.

HOTC stated that its Velvetiser in-home drinking chocolate system was the lead category, with its new Mince Pie drinking chocolate popular with customers. 

The company’s like-for-like sales in the UK & Ireland increased by 10% in the nine weeks to December 25. However, total group sales, which includes its international business, declined by 8%. 

For the 26 weeks to December 25, UK & Ireland like-for-like sales rose 7%, but total group sales decreased by 9%.

The company said online revenues were lower YOY due to consumers returning to in-store shopping, while the company also deliberately lowered marketing spend in that area.  

Wholesale revenues were lower than planned at the beginning of the year as a result of cautious inventory management by the company’s online partners and a focus on ‘quality over quantity’ with fewer new partners.

“‘Quality over quantity’ continues to be our focus, with FY23 previously indicated to be a transition year towards an improved business shape from FY24 onwards, with the goal of 20% Ebitda margin in FY25,” the company said. 

While HOTC continues to trade in line with expectations, it remains cautious about consumer sentiment over upcoming seasonal events.

“We expect the trend of customers reverting to stores to shop to continue in the second half, which is advantageous to the brand because our stores are well invested to deliver an uplifting experience for customers,” HOTC added.


YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK. 81% OF RETAIL CFD ACCOUNTS LOSE MONEY.


Sam Boughedda
Sam is a trader and lead stock market writer at AskTraders. After starting his career in the forex market, Sam now focuses on stocks, specifically consumer staples.