Lindor

Chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli has accelerated its sales growth in the UK to record another year of double-digit growth as it ramps up store openings across the country.

Revenues in 2016 in UK and Ireland leapt 14% to £155m, an improvement on the 12.4% jump in the previous year, new accounts reveal. The Lindor and Excellence lines and new retail openings boosted the luxury chocolatier during the year. UK share rose from 6% to 6.8% in the competitive chocolate market in 2016.

Margins also improved thanks to efficiencies in trade terms and promotions and improvements in the product mix, the accounts said. Pre-tax profits rose from £14.2m to £15.7m as a result. The Swiss parent group highlighted earlier this year that higher-than-average growth in the UK had helped total revenues increase by 6.8% to CHF 3.9bn (£3.1bn) in 2016.

During the summer Lindt said “very good” results in the UK had helped offset some of its struggles in the US.

Lindt is aiming to run the world’s biggest network of premium chocolate shops by 2020, with plans to open between 20 and 30 new sites a year.

It now operates 15 shops in the UK, up from eight at the start of 2016, with the growth in shops contributing to a 20.4% jump in employee numbers to almost 300, according to the accounts.