Costa continues to lift Whitbread's sales

06 September 2011 by
Costa continues to lift Whitbread's sales

Whitbread continues to benefit from consumer spending on coffee after the Costa owner reported like-for-like half-year sales growth of 3.2% across all its businesses.

Costa delivered the strongest performance, with 6.6% growth in like-for-like sales and a 25% boost to sales if the 145 new stores which opened worldwide in the period are included.

Elsewhere Premier Inn saw like-for-like sales grow 5%, while sales dipped by 1.5% at the restaurant business, which includes Brewers Fayre and Beefeater. Total room nights at Premier Inn grew 6.6% to 5.7 million.

Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said that Premier Inn had shown strong growth across the country but particularly in London. "Trading in our restaurants continues to be challenging, with customers being particularly price sensitive," he added.

The group now has 155 Costa Express units and expects to add 300 Costa Coffee stored worldwide in 2011/12. It added 1,225 Premier Inn rooms in the UK in the first half of the year, taking the total number of UK rooms to 44,444.

In a separate statement, the group announced its was raising £156.4m of investment to be used to replace funds drawn under the group's bank facilities.

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By James Stagg

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