Premier Inn owner Whitbread has reported statutory revenue of £2.6b in its latest financial results, 27% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
Total UK accommodation sales were 37% ahead of pre-pandemic levels and, as a result, the group saw statutory profit before tax of £375m, 34% ahead of Whitbread's 2020 financial year.
However, food and beverage sales were 4% behind pre-pandemic levels, with increased spend per head outweighed by a decline in customer volumes.
Trading remained strong for the first quarter of the company's 2024 financial year, the seven weeks to 20 April 2023. Whitbread reported UK accommodation sales were up 17% and forward booked occupancy was in-line with last year but at higher rates, providing "positive revenue momentum". UK food and beverage sales were 10% ahead of last year.
In its financial report, the business said it saw "considerable" opportunities for growth, both in the UK and Germany, driven partly by the "structural decline" in the independent hotel sector, adding that trading remained strong despite economic uncertainty. The group has a pipeline of 7,400 rooms and expects to open 1,500-2,000 rooms this year, and directors were confident in being able to offset the impact of inflation through like-for-like sales growth, room expansion and cost efficiencies.
Chief executive Dominic Paul said: "Having spent time out in the business operations, both in the UK and Germany, I am clear that our strategy is the right one and I am hugely excited about the opportunities we now have in front of us. I want us to strengthen further our position as the UK's leading hotel brand, improve our F&B performance, continue to drive our efficiency programme, complete some important technology projects and replicate our UK model at scale in Germany.
"I am confident that we can deliver on each of these tasks and more. To do so will require the continued dedication and hard work of our executive team and all of our 40,000 team members, each of whom plays a vital role in driving our success. I am excited to be leading such a great team and I am optimistic about our prospects."
You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.
Already subscribed? Log In