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Whitbread restaurant division enjoys buoyant sales

29 August 2007 by
Whitbread restaurant division enjoys buoyant sales

Whitbread's turnaround of its restaurant division has continued, while Costa and Premier Inn carried on buoyant sales growth fuelled by new openings, the company said today.

In the 24 weeks to 16 August budget hotel chain Premier Inn saw like-for-like sales increase 11% year-on-year.

Costa, which this month opened its 600th outlet and has opened 76 new units this year to date, saw like-for-like sale growth of 7.2%.

Following investment in its remaining Beefeaters, and the remodelling of 41 Brewers Fayres to date, margins have improved at the leisure giant's restaurant division with like-for-like sales 2% higher.

Overall, group like for like sales increased 6.6% with total sales 11.3% higher.

Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker said: "The board continues to be confident of the good growth prospects for the group in the future."

Although set to push ahead with a £300m share buy-back to return money to shareholders, Whitbread confirmed that its plan to return further money via borrowing against property-asset based bonds had been put on ice due to volatility in the world's financial markets.

At the start of the month Whitbread announced it had completed the disposal of its David Lloyd Leisure business for £925m, which followed the sale of Pizza Hut and TGI Friday's.

Premier Travel Inn in bid to raise £1m for Hospitality Action >>

Whitbread to spend millions rebranding Premier Travel Inn >>

Kitchen Rat: Costa to open 600th store (possibly) >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce](mailto:chris.druce@rbi.co.uk?subject=Whitbread restaurant divsion enjoiys buoyant sales) here.

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