Whitbread has seen its like-for-like sales rise 4.5% for the first quarter of the year, to 31 May, driven once again by strong sales growth at coffee chain Costa.
Costa recorded an 8.4% UK like-for-like sales increase, while the group's budget hotel brand, Premier Inn, enjoyed a 4.3% rise and its restaurants saw a 2.1% increase.
In the first quarter, Premier Inn's total sales were up by 12.4% with revpar growing by 2.9%, boosted by a strong April. Whitbread said Premier Inn outperformed the mid-scale and economy sectors, where revpar fell by 2.6%.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: "We plan to open 4,200 Premier Inn rooms, eight joint-site restaurants and 350 new Costa stores this financial year, creating an additional 3,500 UK jobs. We expect comparative quarterly trading to continue to be variable. April benefited substantially from a weak comparative due to the extended Royal Wedding holiday in 2011. For the second quarter we face tougher comparatives against a strong result last year, together with the uncertain impact of this summer's major sporting events."
By Neil Gerrard
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