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Hotel Chocolat plans further digital investment following stockmarket float

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Hotel Chocolat is planning to invest both online and offline following a planned flotation on the London stockmarket.

The chocolate manufacturer and retailer plans to invest in improving its digital offering, while opening more stores and increasing the group’s UK manufacturing capacity. Digital investment is set to include a new website, expected to be launched this summer, and work to improve mobile and tablet compatibility.

The business, founded by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris in 1993, has traded under the Hotel Chocolat brand since 2003. It turned over £81.1m in the year to June 2015, when earnings before interest, tax and depreciation came in at £7.9m. Proceeds of the flotation are expected to come to £50m, and will be invested in growing the business.

Currently Hotel Chocolat trades through 84 shops, including three in Copenhagen, and it has around 500,000 active online customers through www.hotelchocolat.com.

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: “We are very excited at the prospect of listing as it is the next logical step in our growth plans and will enable us to accelerate the many initiatives we have in place, in particular additional investment in our British chocolate manufacturing, in new stores and in our digital offering.”

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