Home Breaking Sweet success: Hotel Chocolat repays £6.4m chocolate bonds

Sweet success: Hotel Chocolat repays £6.4m chocolate bonds

by LLB Reporter
4th Jun 18 7:47 am

Here’s what you need to know

Hotel Chocolat Group plc, a premium British chocolatier and omni-channel retailer, today announces the repayment of £6.4m of debt borrowed from its customers in the form of “Chocolate Bonds”.

In 2010 and 2014, the Chocolate Tasting Club PLC, a subsidiary of the Group, issued two bonds which paid a return in the form of luxury boxes of chocolate or Hotel Chocolat Gift Cards. The bond proceeds were invested in capital projects that supported the growth of the company and developed cocoa sustainability projects in St Lucia and Ghana. At inception, the net cash proceeds received for these bonds were recognised as a liability. Each year the cost value of the chocolates was recognised as an interest expense.

The bond proceeds have contributed to:

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The creation of 600 jobs in the UK
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New store openings in the UK and Ireland
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Capital investment in manufacturing in the UK
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Increased support for cocoa growers in Saint Lucia and Ghana
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Sustainability projects including the creation of four model farms that supply disease-resistant cocoa seedlings and demonstrate best practice cocoa growing techniques to improve yields and farm incomes
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A fully operational community medical centre in Osuben, Ghana

The bonds were repayable by the company without notice.

The company would like to thank the Bondholders for the important role they have played in the growth and development of Hotel Chocolat. The ongoing growth of the business has now increased operating cash generation to the extent that the Board believes the continuation of the above growth and sustainability projects can now be funded using the Group’s available working capital.

Angus Thirlwell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Chocolat, 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.”

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