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Costa is driving force behind Whitbread sales growth

28 February 2012
Costa is driving force behind Whitbread sales growth

Costa is once again the driving force behind growth at Whitbread, which has today reported an increase in total sales of 11%.

The coffee chain delivered a particularly strong performance, with total system sales up by 24.6% to £786m for the 50 weeks to 16 February 2012. Within that, franchise sales grew by 19.3% to £320m.

Costa, which has opened 177 new stores in the UK and 182 internationally, saw like-for-like sales in UK equity stores climb 5.8% with transactions up 6.1%.

As the company approaches a full year since the acquisition of Coffee Nation and the launch of Costa Express, there remain 253 Coffee Nation units to be rebranded.

Growth at Premier Inn, also a major contributor to the group's overall sales, rose by 8.7%.

Total room nights sold increased by 7.2% to 11.7 million, while room rate was up by 1.6%. This, combined with occupancy of 76.3%, saw like-for-like revenue per available room (revpar) up by 2.2% with growth across both midweek and the weekend.

Like for like revpar grew by 7.7% in London and 1.2% in the regions and Whitbread's restaurants delivered total covers growth of 3.9%.

Andy Harrison, Whitbread chief executive, commented: "We expect to report in April another full year of double digit earnings growth, in line with expectations.

"Following the trend we highlighted in December, industry data has continued to show a soft hotel market in the UK, with a divergence in performance between London and the regions.

"The market revpar in the regions has declined by around 3% in the quarter, in contrast to a more robust London market especially in the upper segments. Premier Inn has outperformed its competitive set, benefiting from our commitment to maintain our hotels to a consistent high standard.

"Our scale, strong balance sheet and good returns enable us to continue to expand in line with our plans and win share of the hotel market. Our restaurant business benefited from better trading over the Christmas period, albeit against snow impacted comparatives, and we remain focused on strengthening our brand propositions."

Costa and Premier Inn drive Whitbread growth >>

Costa and Premier Inn drive sales growth at Whitbread >>

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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