Hotel Chocolat on Monday said that online demand has been high, and full-year trading is set to come in ahead of expectations.
The retailer and chocolate maker said despite stores being closed for most of the eight weeks to April 25, it still managed to record 60% annual sales growth. Revenue was also 19% higher than the same period in 2019.
The AIM-listed chain said growth at the business was “driven largely by its digital channels and subscription products which further demonstrates the strength of the company's omni-channel sales model”.
Chief executive Angus Thirlwell said over the past year the firm has added over one million customers to its database, and the group had a strong Easter.
Non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen from the latest lockdown on April 12. Hotel Chocolate said that since them, sales across all divisions have been “encouraging”.
Hotel Chocolat expects revenues and pretax profits for the year to June 27 will be above the £148 million and £4.2 million respectively that the City was anticipating.
The company added that it will repay £3.1 million of furlough funding it received from the government.
The shares gained 29.75p, or more than 8%, to 379.75p.