Hotel Chocolat Group has reported a narrowed pretax loss for fiscal 2023, despite a decline in revenue. This improvement reflects a rebalance of e-commerce sales driven by the pandemic.
The U.K. chocolate manufacturer revealed that the pretax loss for the full year ended on July 2 was £6.9 million ($8.5 million), compared to a loss of £8.7 million in the previous year. This positive change was primarily driven by increased sales growth of 14% in U.K. stores.
Although revenue declined to £204.5 million from £226.1 million, this decrease was mainly due to lower online and international sales. However, these figures still remained 54% above pre-pandemic levels.
Furthermore, the company’s underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization margin, which excludes exceptional and one-off items, fell to £24.1 million, compared to £40.8 million.
Despite these challenges, the company’s board remains confident in the brand’s ability to deliver future sales growth and returns. They are supported by a store opening program strategy aimed at capturing the growing demand for in-store experiences.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Angus Thirlwell stated, “Our new store format is exceeding our expectations with 12 planned openings in the next year. Currently, four locations are already open across the U.K., from Glasgow to Bournemouth.”
Dividend and Share Performance
For the period, Hotel Chocolat Group has decided not to declare a dividend.
At 0722 GMT, shares were down 0.5 pence or 0.4% at 129.5 pence.