- Posh chocolatier Hotel Chocolate warned it may shutter some or even all of its stores in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, and launched a £20m placement to bolster its balance sheet.

New shares in the company were being issued at 225p each.

Revenue had fallen 5% so far in March, as the spreading virus and government efforts to contain sidelined shoppers.

Some or all stores could be closed 'for a period', the company said, noting that usually bumper Mother's Day and Easter trading was looming.

Those two events usually made up about 12% of the company's annual revenue.

'The Hotel Chocolat brand is strong and the company's longer-term growth plans and opportunities in the UK, the US and Japan remain unchanged,' it said.

'During these uncertain times the company continues to remain focused on protecting its staff and customers.'

At 9:18am: [LON:HOTC] Hotel Chocolat Group PLC share price was +0.5p at 232.5p

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