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Whitbread's value brands help it boost sales by 13.5%

22 June 2010 by

Hotel and restaurant group Whitbread ]( seen its total sales rise 13.5% in the 13 weeks to 3 June, as its value-led brands continue to benefit from the recession.

The company also saw group like-for-like sales grow by 7.6% thanks in large part to budget hotel brand Premier Inn, which recorded a like-for-like sales increase of 10.5% and a total sales increase of 14.1% over the period. Reveneue per available room was up 9.1%.

Whitbread said that Premier Inn's strong performance was thanks to increased marketing, and a pricing strategy which has seen it lure in weekend leisure customers with rooms for £29 a night. Business customers also appeared to be trading down to cheaper accommodation - business account sales revenue grew by 21% to over £50m.

The quarter also saw Premier Inn open four hotels with a total of 380 rooms, of which three are on joint sites with restaurants.

Meanwhile, Whitbread's restaurants - [Beefeater](, [Brewers Fayre](, Table Table and Taybarns - attracted a total of 5.2% more customers. Total sales were up 4.2% and like-for-likes up 3.6% as a result.

And the company's coffee retail business [Costa ]( total sales jump 26.9% and like-for-like sales up 8.5%. Whitbread opened a net 55 stories in the quarter, with 24 in the UK and 31 internationally. It also plans to open 250 stores in 2010/11.

Commenting on the results, outgoing chief executive Alan Parker commented: "Our strategy of value for money hospitality brands in growing segments of the market has put us in a position of relative strength.

"We intend to further increase our market share by improving occupancy in our hotels and customer volumes in our restaurants and coffee shops. Our longer term expansion will continue at a pace appropriate to our competitive performance and growth in the market."

Tune promotes first London property with 1p-per-night offer >>

EasyJet boss Andy Harrison to succeed Alan Parker at Whitbread >>

Whitbread eyes expansion as it leaves recession behind >>

By Neil Gerrard

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