A strong performance in London where sales in Premier Inn grew by 21.1% helped drive up total sales for Whitbread during the second quarter of the year by 11.1%.
The strong performance of the budget brand in the capital during the three months to 13 August was driven by a 20.3% growth in available rooms, an occupancy of 92.2% (up 0.3 percentage points) and a 1.5% increase in total revenue per available room. Like-for-like sales for Premier Inn across the UK were up 4.3%.
Meanwhile, Costa Coffee also performed well with like-for-like sales up 4%, against a strong performance last year, while total sales grew 11.1%.
Andy Harrison (pictured), chief executive of Whitbread who will retire from the group next year, said the company was in the process of developing plans to adopt the recently announced National Living Wage.
"We shall mitigate this substantial cost increase over time with a combination of productivity improvements, boosted by investment in systems and training, efficiency savings and some selective price increases. We shall announce more details of our plans with our interim results on 20 October 2015," he said.
Whitbread is set to open around 5,500 Premier Inn rooms in the UK this year and around 220 Costa stores worldwide, as well as install 700-800 new Costa Express machines. The company currently has more than 700 Premier Inn hotels and a total of 45,000 employees in the UK.
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