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Results: HOTC

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EPIC HOTC
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One more for the chocolate, rather than Hotel Chocolat, fans

Most of us like a bit of chocolate, and my personal top tip is the Taste The Difference J Sainsbury (SBRY) Ugandan 90% dark chocolate. Excellent taste, ESG friendly and does not cost you a fortune. But I have other financial and chocolate issues to discuss today as Hotel Chocolat Group (HOTC), a “premium British chocolate maker”, has announced its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 26th June 2022.

EPIC HOTC
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Hotel Chocolat significantly exits the USA – “strong and distinctive D2C brand”?

Describing itself as “a premium British chocolate maker with a strong and distinctive D2C brand”, Hotel Chocolat Group (HOTC) has announced that, whilst it “continues to explore the future development of wholesale opportunities in the US market… the group has decided to cease US direct to consumer sales via its website and exit the in-country warehousing and fulfilment support arrangements”. Just how “strong and distinctive” is the brand then?

EPIC HOTC
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The world turns upside down for Hotel Chocolat shareholders!

I am trying to remember the last time I went to a Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) shop. If my memory is correct, it was in the Boxing Day 2019 sale. I cannot remember if I regarded its 50% off prices as cheap or not, but suffice to say it would have felt a bit cheaper than buying before Christmas. I tell you what else has fallen by (nearly) 50% this morning: Hotel Chocolat’s share price! So, what’s been going on at the “Chocolate Gifts & Luxury Presents” company whose “three guiding principles have taken us to over 150 chocolate shops, cafe's, restaurants and even a cocoa estate hotel”?

EPIC HOTC
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Much as I like chocolate, I am still avoiding Hotel Chocolat shares

I am trying to remember when I last went to a Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) store. I certainly bought a few Christmas presents in late 2019...and a couple of bargains in early 2020. Anyhow, whilst historically liking the products, I did pass on its 355p money raising in July last year…and that was a mistake given the share price has been at/above 500p for the last four months. So how do I feel after today’s trading update for the ‘13-week period ("Q2") and the 26-week period ("H1") ended 26 December 2021’?

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