Costa and Premier Inns drives Whitbread's profits up

24 April 2007 by
Costa and Premier Inns drives Whitbread's profits up

Leisure giant Whitbread has seen profits rise in the year to March driven by a strong performance at Costa Coffee and Premier Travel Inn hotels.

The company today announced that its profit before tax and exceptional items rose by 25% since last year to £213m.

Alan Parker, chief executive of Whitbread, said: "We delivered a strong year and our task now is to build on that.

"We have a clear strategy to concentrate our management and capital on growing those businesses in which we have market leading positions and strong growth prospects," he added.

"We will continue to manage our businesses aggressively and our balance sheet efficiently to create value for shareholders.

Parker, who is currently considering offers for the David Lloyd fitness centre chain, said he will look at making acquisitions to expand the budget hotel and coffee shop businesses. The company was yesterday linked with a bid for the Jurys Inn hotel chain.

Whitbread also revealed that it will increase its debt by £400m in the first half, by issuing bonds secured by its hotel and restaurant assets. The company values those assets at £3.6b after an independent review during the fiscal year.

Whitbread joins battle for Jurys Inns >>

Whitbread receives three firm bids for David Lloyd >>

Strong hotel growth drives profit at Whitbread >>

By Daniel Thomas

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