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Whitbread announces 2.5% Q3 sales boost after Costa sell-off

17 January 2019 by
Whitbread announces 2.5% Q3 sales boost after Costa sell-off

Premier Inn operator Whitbread has announced a 2.5% boost to sales in Q3 trading after the firm sold off the Costa Coffee brand for £3.9b ahead of schedule.

Following Whitbread's renewed focus on the hotel industry, the company announced a 3.5% growth in accommodation sales, while its food and beverage increased by 0.5%. The firm announced that 2,000 new rooms had been introduced across the 2019 financial year, while occupancy rates stood at 80%.

Full end of year results are expected to meet expectations for Whitbread, but it did caution investors that "the UK environment remains subdued and sustained inflation continues to be a significant challenge".

Chief executive Alison Brittain said: "Whitbread is now a focused hotel business with over 800 hotels in the UK, Germany and the Middle East, operating under the Premier Inn brand, with a committed pipeline of over 20,000 additional rooms.

"Premier Inn has made good progress this year, growing total sales by 2.5%, which, along with strong results from our efficiency programme, means we are on track to achieve full-year expectations for FY19. The UK business achieved total accommodation sales growth of 3.5% in the third quarter.

"Our performance in the quarter reflects a strong central London market and a weak regional market. We are cautious about the macro environment for the next financial year due to increased uncertainty and continuing high inflation.

"Although we are confident in our ability to create value from ongoing investment in the UK and increasing investment in international growth, in this environment we expect underlying profit before tax in FY20 to be consistent with this year.

"We continue to be excited about the opportunity in Germany and our first hotel in Frankfurt remains the number one choice for customers. Our second hotel in Germany will open in Hamburg in February, and this year we have continued to extend the total committed pipeline in Germany, which now stands at over 6,000 rooms across 34 hotels."

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