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Whitbread outlines UK ambitions for 36,000 new Premier Inn rooms

13 February 2019 by
Whitbread outlines UK ambitions for 36,000 new Premier Inn rooms

Premier Inn parent Whitbread has plans to add a further 36,000 rooms to its UK portfolio, having "consistently won market share from independents".

Premier Inn already has approximately 74,000 rooms in the UK.

Outlining its long-term plan the hotel group said: "The UK market is large with a total of over 700,000 rooms. Of these just under half are operated by smaller, non-branded, independent businesses.

"Premier Inn has consistently won market share from independents by adding new capacity, which delivers a consistently superior experience and excellent value-for-money. Given the size of the market and the level of fragmentation, Whitbread sees potential for at least 110,000 rooms in the UK."

The company said it consistently achieves occupancy of about 80% across its 800 hotels, with direct bookings above 97%.

Across the UK and internationally Whitbread sees the potential to grow the brand to 170,000 rooms, outlining the potential for 60,000 in Germany in the longer term.

Whitbread is focused on its Premier Inn business following the sale of Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola for £3.9b last year.

In an update to the City, it said the sale had left it with more capital than it can invest at a strong return in the near-term. As a result the group intends to return at least £2.5b to shareholders.

A share buyback programme was launched in January, which seeks to repurchase 500 million shares by the end of April 2019. Following the buyback, the company intends to pursue a tender offer to repurchase up to a further £2b of shares.

Sale of Costa to Coca-Cola for £3.9b now complete>>

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