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Premier Travel Inn leads the way

14 June 2005

Whitbread's budget hotels continue to be the company's best performers, as like-for-like sales at its pub, restaurant and health club businesses have stagnated due to weak consumer spending.

Like-for-like sales at Premier Travel Inn during the 13 weeks to 2 June were 8.2% up on the same period last year.

The like-for-like figure does not include Premier Lodge, which Whitbread bought last year, creating the largest hotel chain in the UK with 29,000 bedrooms. A further 1,800 bedrooms are due to open in the next six months.

In the pub-restaurant division, which includes Brewers Fayre and Brewsters, like-for-like sales were 1% lower than last year and described as disappointing.

High-street restaurant like-for-like sales were 0.1% lower.

David Lloyd Leisure, the company's health club business, saw its like-for-like sales fall by 0.1%.

Whitbread's chief executive, Alan Parker, described the company's performance as "creditable" in a difficult environment.

He said the company's joint venture with Marriott had traded well with like-for-like sales up by 4%, adding that the process of disposing of the properties had started and was attracting encouraging levels of interest.

Total sales at the group increased by 5% year-on-year, and by 14.1% if Premier Lodge is included.

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