Hotel Chocolat shares plummet 12% as losses loom for 2023

Shares of Hotel Chocolat (LSE: HOTC) have taken a sharp dip, plummeting by 12% to 122.00 pence, following the company’s announcement of an expected underlying marginal loss before tax for the financial year 2023.

The chocolate retailer, which enjoyed a successful financial year in 2022 with an underlying pretax profit of £21.7 million, now projects a further decline in sales and profit for the upcoming fiscal year.

The firm said it attributes this downbeat outlook to the prevailing weakness in consumer sentiment and the persistent pressures of inflation.

This recent downturn comes on the heels of Hotel Chocolat’s financial report released in March, which revealed a substantial decrease in pretax profit.

During the six months leading up to December 25, the company reported a pretax profit of £8.3 million, marking a significant 59% drop compared to the previous year’s figure of £20.4 million. However, underlying pretax profit remained relatively steady at £10.2 million. The report also indicated a decline in revenue, which slipped by 9.2% from £142.9 million to £129.8 million.

Hotel Chocolat shares have declined 59% over the past 12 months.