Whitbread boosts revenue by 7.4%

Drinks: Coffee, Drinks
Other: Business

Coffee shop, pub, restaurant, and hotel operator Whitbread has reported a revenue boost of 7.4% to £1,671m in the six months to 31 August 2017.

Overall pre-tax profits stood at £316m up 19.9%, while underlying profit before tax rose 6.7% to £328m.

Over the period, it also opened 2,000 Premier Inn rooms, and increased the proportion of hotel customers booking directly to 95%. However, underlying operating profit for the Costa Coffee brand was flat at £65 million.

The company is currently looking for growth in the competitive coffee shop market through ‘product innovation’ including a new breakfast menu, hot lunch menu and new coffees and cold drinks. It currently has around 2,300 Costa stores throughout the country. Shares dipped around 4% this morning on the announcement of the results.

Whitbread said the UK is currently entering the ‘third wave’ of coffee, ‘a period in which consumers’ preferences for coffee become more sophisticated and are willing to spend more per cup for higher quality and innovative drinks’. It says it is now in a prime position to capitalise on these trends.

‘I am pleased with the progress we have made in executing the plan we set out in November last year, with earnings per share up 7.4% in the half and return on capital of 15.4%,’ Alison Brittain, Whitbread chief executive officer, said.

‘Our plan is based on growing in our core UK markets; focusing on structural growth opportunities for Premier Inn in Germany, Costa in China and Costa Express; and strengthening our capabilities and efficiency to deliver these attractive opportunities.’

Last year, Imbibe investigated coffee consumption and the rise of the roasters.



About Author

Claire Dodd

As a freelance journalist, Claire has written about pretty much any topic you can imagine, from which are the best sausages, to how to flood-proof your home. However, her writing on drinks began when she landed a job as a features writer for the Publican magazine in 2007. Adjusting to a lifestyle of sampling the best drinks from around the world was tough, but someone had to do it. Having left the title in 2011, today Claire focuses on drinks and travel writing for both consumer and trade titles. Aside from searching the globe for the best drinks, and the nicest spots to consume them, she also judges global brewing competitions and keeps an eye on the business moves of the on-trade.

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