Hotel Chocolat Christmas sales rise came at a high price, CEO says

Hotel Chocolat Angus Thirlwell Christmas

Hotel Chocolat’s Christmas sales have risen, although executives at the confectionery retailer warned that the growth came at a higher price than expected.

In the 13 weeks to December 29, sales rose by 11 per cent compared with the same period last year, while sales in the six months to December 29 jumped 14 per cent.

In a six-month period, Hotel Chocolat opened nine new sites in the UK, two in the US and three in Japan through a joint venture.

Meanwhile, the retailer plans to transform its supply chain in a bid to keep up with international demand.

“This focus will rebalance us from being a UK-based company operating from owned channels, to one more suitable for multi-channel, multi-territory international supply,” Hotel Chocolat chief executive Angus Thirwell said.

Since December, the retailer’s sales continued to be in line with expectations, but “the cost to deliver this growth was modestly higher due to inefficiencies in the supply chain which are being addressed in 2020”.