Friday 16 November 2018

Hotel Chocolat repays £6.4m in ‘Chocolate Bonds’

The company said proceeds contributed to the creation of 600 jobs in the UK.

Hotel Chocolat said proceeds supported the firm’s growth (PA)
Hotel Chocolat said proceeds supported the firm’s growth (PA)

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

Hotel Chocolat has repaid £6.4 million of its so-called “Chocolate Bonds” which the confectioner said helped create 600 jobs in the UK.

The bonds were issued through its Chocolate Tasting Club subsidiary in 2010 and 2014, paying a return to holders in the form of luxury chocolate boxes and Hotel Chocolat gift cards.

The company said proceeds supported the firm’s growth and contributed to the creation of 600 jobs in the UK as well as new store openings in both the UK and Ireland.

Thanks to the support of our amazing Chocolate Bond-holders, we were able to invest in ethical cocoa, British manufacturing, create hundreds of jobs and then repay them in full, as planned Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell

It also helped with capital investment in manufacturing in the UK and increased support for its cocoa growers in Saint Lucia and Ghana.

Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “Thanks to the support of our amazing Chocolate Bond-holders, we were able to invest in ethical cocoa, British manufacturing, create hundreds of jobs and then repay them in full, as planned.”

Hotel Chocolat shares were up as much as 0.3% in morning trading on Monday.

The London-listed business in February reported a 15% rise in half-year sales to £71.7 million.

The confectioner also recorded a 15% rise in pre-tax profits for the six months to December 31 to £12.9 million, up from £11.2 million a year earlier.

The company said “improved inefficiencies” and growing scale – having opened 10 new stores over the period – helped offset headwinds including the impact of the weaker pound.

Its next trading update is due in July.

Press Association

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