The Caterer

Whitbread to slow expansion despite strong result

28 April 2009 by
Whitbread to slow expansion despite strong result

Whitbread has seen both turnover and profit improve despite the recession, but will slow its expansion in the coming year.

The group, which operates the Premier Inn and Beefeater chains, reported an increase in turnover of 9.7% to £1.3b (2008: £1.2b) for the year ended 26 February 2009.

Group pre-tax profit increased 9.3% to £229.9m (2008: £210.3m).

Budget hotel chain Premier Inn continued its success story, with turnover up 14% to £601.5m (2008: £527.8m).

Despite this, Whitbread said the budget hotel chain had been affected by the "increasingly harsh economic environment", and its performance in recent months had "softened".

Restaurant turnover at the group was up 3.2% from £446.1m (2008: £460.1m).

Despite the strong results, Whitbread said it would "reduce the pace of its organic expansion" in 2009, although it still intends to open 2,000 Premier Inn rooms in the UK and overseas, in the United Arab Emirates and India.

Group profit after tax was £90.3m compared with last year's profit of £557.1m, which was inflated due to the sale of leisure chain David Lloyd Leisure and other businesses for £440.8m.

The figure also reflects the loss of £20.7m of profit from the sold David Lloyd business.

Premier Inn to slow expansion after hitting 40,000 rooms >>

Premier Inn plans first self check-in hotel for Sheffield >>

Whitbread appoints Patrick Dempsey as its executive director >>

Whitbread outsources HR and payroll to Ceridian >>

By Gemma Sharkey

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