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Costa Coffee continues to drive sales growth at Whitbread

04 March 2010 by
Costa Coffee continues to drive sales growth at Whitbread

Costa Coffee continued to be the driving force behind sales growth at Whitbread, which announced a group sales lift of 5.4% in a trading update released today.

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.

The group's pub restaurant brands, including Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, achieved a 1.3% increase in like-for-like sales.

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".

Costa Coffee helps Whitbread exceed full-year financial forecasts >>

Costa Coffee boosts Whitbread's interim results >>

Whitbread unveils a mixed picture in trading update >>

By Janie Stamford

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