Costa and Premier Inn drive Whitbread performance

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

26 April 2016

Whitbread's hotel and coffee brands continue to drive the company’s growth, according to its full-year results released this morning.

The hotel, pub, coffee chain and restaurant operator announced total group sales growth of 12% and like-for-like sales up 3% for the 53 weeks to 3 March.

Whitbread said growth was being driven by its two leading brands, Premier Inn, and Costa Coffee. Premier Inn grew total sales by 12.9%, and like-for-like sales by 4.2%. Costa's underlying operating profit was up 15.8% to £153.5 million, with total sales growth of 15.9%. UK like-for-like sales growth stood at 2.9%. Whitbread opened 103 new Costa Coffee shops in the UK during the period, and 197 stores worldwide.

Chief executive Alison Brittain said: 'The budget hotel market is continuing to grow as the independent sector declines, and there is an increasing demand for great coffee.

'The world around us is shifting, with rising customer expectations, an evolving competitor landscape, rapid technological developments and changing cost structures. Both Premier Inn and Costa benefit from attractive market growth opportunities and we will continue to capitalise on these by developing our network and brand strength as we fulfil our ambitions to reach 85,000 UK hotel rooms and £2.5 billion system sales in Costa, by 2020.'

The company currently has 65,000 rooms, with 12,700 in the pipeline.

Whitbread also owns pub and restaurant brands including Beefeater Grill, Brewers Fayre, Taybarns and Table Table. It said its new city-centre focused contemporary Beefeater concept, Beefeater Bar + Block, was already showing promising results. The first site opened in Birmingham in March.

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