Like-for-like sales at Costa for the three months to 18 February grew by 9.5%, benefiting from the launch of Costa's new ‘Flat White' coffee at the end of January. In the year to date, the coffee chain opened 185 new UK Costa outlets and total sales grew by 21.0%.
Premier Inn was also able to report modest growth of 1.7% for the fourth quarter, a marked improvement on the 3.1% decline in like-for-like sales announced in the third quarter.
Regional revenues per available room continued to fall, but Whitbread said the decline of 6.9% compared favourably with the 10.2% drop for the total regional hotel market. However, year-to-date sales remain 4.6% down against the previous year.
Whitbread's net debt at the year-end is estimated to be around £540m, compared with £623m a year earlier.
Alan Parker, chief executive, said that "Whitbread's trading performance continues to be robust."
He anticipated that the results for the year ended 4 March 2010 would be "in line with management expectations".
By Janie Stamford
E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs