Luxury chocolate maker Hotel Chocolat received plenty of positive coverage for its maiden full-year results. The Telegraph says Hotel Chocolat has found life is just as sweet as a public company after posting a 93% jump in annual profits. The Times writes that the business has hit a trading sweet spot as consumer demand for high-quality “hedonistic chocolate” helped sales jump 57% to as it reported better-than-expected maiden full-year results. CEO Angus Thirlwell said he had noticed no direct impact from the Brexit vote, but added that the cost of raw materials had risen as a result of the weaker pound (The Financial Times).
Rising food prices will be ‘lethal’ for millions of struggling shoppers post-Brexit, the UK boss of Tesco has warned, The Daily Mail reports. Matt Davies said at the IGD industry conference yesterday that higher grocery bills would prove damaging to consumers, business and the economy. Ashley Armstrong in The Telegraph says that Tesco finally has two things to smile about after winning the Marmite war and recording rising market share data. “While Lewis can now breathe a sigh of relief that Tesco’s darkest times are behind it, he cannot rest on his laurels. Asda’s new chief executive Sean Clarke has a turnaround job of his own to do and will no doubt be looking to use Walmart money to claim back some market share.”
Three former Tesco executives are to appear in crown court to face charges of fraud and false accounting in relation to a scandal at Britain’s biggest supermarket that left a black hole of up to £326m in its accounts, The Guardian reports. Demand for black clothes in Thailand to mourn the death of the country’s King has caused a rush in Tesco’s South Asian outlets, according to The Daily Mail.
Reckitt Benckiser felt the force of a boycott in South Korea over deadly disinfectants, after the scandal contributed to the company’s weakest quarterly growth in five years, The Financial Times writes. The FT Lombard column says: “Reckitt sells a miniature electric sander for DIY foot care. It is a pity the device cannot fix the Achilles heel of the big consumer products group: a corporate culture that is out of step with the public mood. Aggressive multinationals are unfashionable.” The disappointing figures were partly a result of the humidifier scandal that engulfed the consumer goods group in South Korea, The Times said. It knocked 1.5% off like-for-like sales growth and was blamed for a 2% decline in the company’s home products.
Shares in Carrefour climbed on Wednesday, as the world’s second-biggest retailer by revenue reported robust sales in Brazil and improvements in its core French market over the third quarter (The Financial Times). The paper’s Lex column writes that Brazil has been the best hunting ground for European interests recently. “Carrefour is… an exception. Its performance there has been consistent enough that a flotation of its Brazilian subsidiary has returned to the agenda.”