Whitbread sales and profit boosted by Costa and Premier Inn

25 October 2016 by
Whitbread sales and profit boosted by Costa and Premier Inn

Thanks to strong performances by core brands Premier Inn and Costa, Whitbread's revenue grew 8% to £1.5b for the first half of 2016.

Premier Inn and Costa saw total sales grow 8.9% and 10.7%, and sales up 2.4% and 2.3% respectively, with group total sales growth of 8.1% and like-for-like sales growth of 1.9%. Group underlying profit before tax rose 5.4% to £307m.

Whitbread plans to add around 3,700 new Premier Inn rooms to its UK portfolio and between 230 and 250 new coffee shops worldwide over the course of the financial year.

Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: "Looking forward, our sectors face a number of cost headwinds from the National Living Wage, business rates, commodity price inflation and foreign exchange rates."

She added: "In our hotels business, we are expanding the network of our new hub by Premier Inn city centre hotels [pictured] and making progress in consolidating and rejuvenating our restaurant brands. In Costa we are trialling new ‘finer' coffee concepts, introducing a new fresher food range and making good progress rolling out our Costa Pronto and Drive Thru formats. Whilst it is early in the second half, and there is uncertainty in the UK's economic outlook, we expect to deliver in line with full year expectations."

Richard Baker, chairman of Whitbread, added: "Whitbread has delivered another good set of results with underlying profit before tax up 5.4%. We are continuing to invest in our brands to maintain our leadership positions, whilst our strong balance sheet and cash flow generation has enabled us to increase the dividend by 4.9% to 29.90p."

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