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Whitbread rebrands all its hotels as Premier Travel Inns

01 March 2005 by

Whitbread, the UK's biggest hotelier, has completed the conversion of 141 Premier Lodge hotels to Premier Travel Inns, following its acquisition of Premier Lodge last July.

The company announced the news in its pre-close trading statement, which showed that sales across the group were up by 7.7%, with like-for-like sales ahead by 2.9%.

The conversion of the Premier Lodges also coincided with the group's plans to rebrand all its 457 hotels to Premier Travel Inns within six months.

Chief executive Alan Parker said the programme - which included massive refurbishment, rebranding, IT upgrades and staff retraining schemes - had been completed "on time and to budget".

Whitbread reported that the newly integrated Premier Travel Inn had had an "outstanding year" with sales - driven by increased occupancy and room rates - up by 6.7%, excluding former Premier Lodge hotels.

Marriott hotels performed less well, with sales growth of just 3.9%. It blamed the performance on the weak US dollar discouraging North American tourists.

Whitbread's pub and high-street restaurant business - which includes Beefeater, Costa, Pizza Hut and Brewers Fayre - had also experienced sluggish growth, with sales rising by just 1.6%.

Parker said that trading at its 147 Brewsters outlets remained "disappointing" and that the company would continue to convert these to its Brewers Fayre brand.

By Emily Manson

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