The Caterer

Whitbread reports solid start to the year

20 June 2006
Whitbread reports solid start to the year

Leisure group Whitbread has enjoyed a solid start to the year, according to a trading update issued today.

Figures for the 13 weeks to 1 June saw Whitbread's total sales increase by 6.9% on the previous year and like-for-like sales increase by 1.6%, bolstered by a strong performance from Premier Travel Inn.

Like-for-like sales at Premier Travel Inn, the UK's largest budget hotel chain, increased 6.7% in the period, although Whitbread's other brands enjoyed more moderate gains.

David Lloyd Leisure's like-for-like sales were up 2.1% year-on-year and its high-street restaurants division saw sales growth of 1.9%. However, like-for-like sales at the pub restaurant division fell 2%.

Whitbread also announced details of Costa Coffee's move into China in 2007.

Whitbread is also set to complete the disposal of 235 standalone Beefeater and Brewer's Fayre outlets shortly, which, according the the comapy, have generated a "high level of interest".

Pub operator Mitchells & Butlers has already publicly expressed its interest in acquiring the sites and rebranding them.

Whitbread reshuffles senior management team >>

Whitbread to sell Brewers Fayre and Beefeater restaurants >>

By Jen Crothers

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