Premier Inn owner 'considering sale of part of its F&B business'

30 May 2023 by
Premier Inn owner 'considering sale of part of its F&B business'

Premier Inn owner Whitbread is reported to be considering the sale of a small part of its pub and restaurant business to focus operations on its hotel arm.

The Telegraph reported the FTSE 100 company had hired advisors to explore options for the disposal of part of its F&B arm, following its recent acknowledgement of its slower recovery since the pandemic, in comparison to Premier Inn's performance.

In April Whitbread reported statutory revenue of £2.6b, 27% ahead of pre-pandemic levels, in 2022/23.

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.

In Whitbread's annual report chief executive Dominic Paul said: "The UK pub restaurant market remains challenging with the cost-of-living crisis and high inflationary pressures impacting the recovery in demand.

"Although higher levels of hotel occupancy meant that F&B sales were 40% ahead of 2021/22, they remained 4% behind 2019/20. Despite an increase in spend per head, customer volumes at our branded restaurants, that are focused at the value-end of the market, remained below pre-pandemic levels."

Whitbread's F&B arm includes brands Brewers Fayre and Beefeater.

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