Divine eyeing more export markets

Divine eyeing more export markets

Divine Chocolate, the UK-based ethical chocolate maker, has added Turkey to its roster of international markets - and is set to enter China as part of a fresh push in Asia.

The company is using Turkey-based distributor Alara Global to handle its move into the country. A spokesperson for Divine said products including its 100g sharing bar range, cocoa powder and drinking chocolate will be sold at duty-free outlets at airports in Turkey, at marinas and at country border points.

Divine is working on what it said in a statement is an "expanding export strategy" and is eyeing up a clutch of other countries. The spokesperson said Divine is "at an advanced stage in negotiations" with an unnamed distributor in the UAE and is "working with an export agency with expertise in developing premium food brands" into Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

The spokesperson added Divine had "recently appointed an agent/distributor in China and is close to launching the brand in three cities".

In the US, one of Divine's largest markets outside the UK, the company has recently secured national listings with drugstore giant Walgreens.

In the company's last full financial year, which ran until 30 June 2016, it generated a net profit of GBP443,000 (US$572,000), compared to GBP319,000 in the previous year. Operating profit increased to GBP587,000 from GBP446,000 a year earlier, Divine, co-owned by Ghanaian farmer co-operative Kuapa Kokoo, said.

However, turnover for the period dipped to just over GBP12m from GBP12.6m previously.