Premier Inn owner Whitbread today revealed it will cut capital expenditure by a third next year and rein in its organic expansion plans in response to looming recession.
Although the company reported "resilient performance" for the 39 weeks to 27 November, it warned of some softening of growth in November and said that the deteriorating outlook would cut 2009 expenditure to £200m (2008: £300m).
Alan Parker, chief executive, said: "We have been reviewing our future development plans as the macro-economic situation has become increasingly challenging.
"We believe that while this environment remains we should take a more prudent approach to organic expansion."
Parker stressed that Whitbread would continue to invest in its existing estate as well as "selected new high returning projects". It will also maintain a landbank for future development
Total group sales across Whitbread grew by 13.4% in the period, while like-for-like sales were up 6.7%. The hotels and restaurants division saw total sales rising by 11.5% with like-for-like sales up by 7.4%. Sales at Costa Coffee increased by 22% in the period, with like-for-like sales up by 2.6%.
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next hotel job here with Caterersearch.com jobs