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Results: HOTC

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EPIC HOTC
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Hotel Chocolat is going to need a very sweet 2023

A couple of weeks ago I concluded that “Chocolate is a sweet treat but you still cannot say the same for Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) shares” HERE. Despite a big share price fall in 2022, the then c. two quid share price, after an early January hope romp, seemed bonkers to me. It is just over 220p now as, apparently, it had a great Christmas trading session.

EPIC HOTC
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Chocolate is a sweet treat but you still cannot say the same for Hotel Chocolat shares

Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. 2023 is going to be an interesting one, but it is not impossible out there and even the average boring institutional investor should do better this year than they did during the last twelve months or so. In short, as always, I enter a new year with the glass being half full and not half empty – as any thoughtful active investor should do. The key is to keep on learning. And all this means that, whilst some stocks are buys today, many others are at best an avoid…which brings me onto Hotel Chocolat Group (HOTC).
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”?

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