The Caterer

Whitbread reports healthy rise in profits

26 April 2005
Whitbread reports healthy rise in profits

Profits at Whitbread have grown by 17.8% over the past year, jumping from £211.7m to £249.4m.

The hospitality giant put the rise down to strong performance at its budget hotels and high street restaurants, which it said "had an outstanding year".

Turnover was up 6.8%, growing from £1.98b in 2004 to £2.1b.

Chairman John Banham said: "The past 12 months have seen the opening of an exciting new chapter in the Whitbread story."

In July 2004, the leisure group bought 132 Premier Lodge sites for £505m, which are now all under the Premier Travel Inn brand.

Like-for-like sales at the budget hotel chain rose by 6.4%, driven by increased occupancy.

It also bought 19 pub restaurants for £31.2m in July, which it converted to Brewers Fayres. Like-for-like sales across the pub restaurant division, including its Beefeater and Brewsters brands, grew by 1.1% to £597m, but operating profit fell by 6.9%.

Figures were healthier at its high-street restaurants, fuelled by new openings. Like-for-like sales were up by 1.2% and operating profit jumped by 24% to £35.2m.

In March 2005, it disposed of its franchised Marriott hotels business - a deal that should complete on 5 May. It expected to raise £1.3b from the sale.

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