Britain’s biggest hotel and coffee shop operator Whitbread reported an 8.5 per cent jump in like-for-like sales at its Premier Inns 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.”