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Whitbread unveils new expansion targets as annual profits rise 14%

30 April 2013 by
Whitbread unveils new expansion targets as annual profits rise 14%

Whitbread has reported a 14% rise in annual profits as it unveiled new expansion targets for its Premier Inn hotel and Costa Coffee chains.

The UK's biggest hotel and restaurant group, which also owns a string of restaurant brands including Beefeater Grill, Table Table and Brewers Fayre, said that by 2018 it intends to grow Premier Inn UK rooms by 45% to 75,000 and double total sales at Costa Coffee to £2b.

Whitbread added that the plans, which it hopes will create 12,000 jobs in the next five years, compared with previous 2016 targets of 65,000 rooms at Premier Inn and worldwide sales of £1.3b at Costa Coffee.

The company said that strong sales in the year to 28 February 2013 had helped increase annual underlying pretax profit 11.4% to £356.5m, from £320.1m last year, while total revenue rose 14.2% to £2b.

Sales at Premier Inn, which currently has 51,671 rooms, grew 13.1%, with total global sales at Costa up 22.6% £1b.

Commenting on the annual results, Whitbread chairman Anthony Habgood, said: "Whitbread has grown its total sales in the year by over 14% and continued to produce strong operating cash flows of over £500m.

"This has funded both significant organic investment to grow our businesses and a double digit percentage increase in our dividends while maintaining prudent debt levels. With the Premier Inn and Costa brand propositions going from strength to strength this growth is set to continue."

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