Whitbread boosted by sales growth at Premier Inns and Costa stores

Wigan Warriors legend Jason Robinson opens the new Premier Inn, Wigan
Wigan Warriors legend Jason Robinson opens the new Premier Inn, Wigan
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Britain’s biggest hotel and coffee shop operator​ Whitbread reported an ​8.5 per​ ​cent ​jump​ in like-for-like sales at ​its ​Premier Inn​s division, helped by a recovery in the regional market.

The group also announced​ a 5.2 per​ ​cent rise ​in underlying sales ​at UK Costa stores​ as it taps into Britain’s growing coffee shop culture.​

Premier Inn’s growth rate of 15.4 per cent reflected new hotels and an improvement in occupancy to 84.8 per cent as the regional market continues to pick up.​ ​

Across the group, which includes Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants, sales were 13.2 per cent higher than a year ago – a rise of six per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Whitbread is spending £500m in this financial year on another 4,500 Premier Inn rooms in the UK and 230 Costa stores worldwide.

Today it has nearly 700 hotels and 56,956 rooms, an increase of more than 2,000 since February.

Costa has expanded its presence in the UK with the net addition of more than 100 new outlets in the year to date, taking its total number of sites to 1,882.

A further 10,000 jobs are expected to be created over the next three years. The company ​currently ​employs 45,000 people.

Whitbread said its restaurants delivered a solid performance in the quarter, with like-for-like sales growth of 1.6​ per cent​ despite a slight drop in the number of covers.

Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: “The group’s reputation for dependable growth remains undiminished. The company’s brands continue to appeal to cost conscious consumers, with market share gains still being won.”