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Gloucestershire Business News

Lockdown caused Easter loss for chocolatier

High-end chocolate retailer, Hotel Chocolat, swung to a loss after lockdown hammered its Easter sales.

Pre-tax profits at the retailer, which has stores in Cheltenham and Gloucester, fell by 83 per cent to £2.4 million for the year to 28th June. Overall, it made a statutory pre-tax loss of £6.5 million, compared to a £10.9 million profit the previous year.

Despite the declines, Hotel Chocolat said profits were slightly ahead of expectations, taking into account the impact of the pandemic.

In the first half, sales increased by 14 per cent to £92 million, while sales slipped by 14 per cent to £45 million in the second half after stores closed their doors. Since stores reopened, Hotel Chocolat said sales have been in line with expectations for the start of the current financial year.

Online sales are now about 150 per cent higher than for the same period last year, after customers increased online purchases during the coronavirus crisis.

The retailer said it is in a good position to navigate the uncertainty of the coming year and to adapt quickly to any changes. It has invested in its ability to increase production and expand its supply chain capacity.

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