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Whitbread is the UK’s largest hospitality company. It started life in the 18th century as a brewer but has redefined itself in the current century by focusing on budget hotels, pub-restaurants and restaurants, and coffee shops.
Its operates the biggest budget hotel chain in the UK, Premier Inn, and the vast majority of its pub-restaurants and restaurants (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns) are co-located with the hotels.
Its Costa Coffee business is the UK's largest coffee shop chain.
Chairman: Anthony Habgood
Finance director: Christopher Rogers
Managing director, Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants: Patrick Dempsey
Managing director, Costa Coffee: John Derkach
Group human resources director: Louise Smalley
Whitbread has grown into the UK’s largest hotel operator since 1992, when its hotel division contributed a mere £2m in profits, and has also built up leading positions in the coffee shop sector. The group has continued to transform and streamline itself since the sale of its brewing and pub interests in 2000 and 2001 while promising accelerated growth in its chosen fields.
Unable to generate acceptable returns on its Marriott properties, the group has exited both the three-star and the four-star hotel market in order to focus on its star-performing budget hotel business.
By April 2006, the group had raised around £1.3b from the sale of the Marriott hotels, its stake in Britvic soft drinks and The Brewery conference centre in London.
It has also pulled out of the high-street restaurant business, offloading Pizza Hut in 2006 and TGI Friday's in 2007, when it also exited the health club business with the sale of David Lloyd Leisure.
Having sold or converted its underperforming Brewsters and Out & Out pub-restaurants, Whitbread elected to keep only those pub-restaurants that are co-located with a Premier Inn. It now operates four pub-restaurant and restaurant brands, mostly alongside budget hotels..
The successful Costa Coffee chain, which is the UK’s second largest coffee shop brand, has switched focus from quantity to quality through partnerships with such companies as BAA, Virgin Atlantic, Waitrose, Waterstone’s,Ottakar’s, P&O and Esso. It has also spread overseas through franchising to the Middle East, Dublin, Cyprus, India and Pakistan and Whitbread intends to grow the brand to 1,000 outlets here and abroad by 2010.
"Our target for Premier Inn during 2009/10 is to deliver around 2,000 new rooms in the UK and overseas. We have a strong pipeline of secured sites and will continue to develop a land bank. Internationally, our first hotel opened in Dubai during 2008 and we will build on this position, intending to open a further two hotels in the Emirates plus one in India.
We plan to open around 100 new Costa outlets in the UK in 2009/10. We will capitalise on our strong Costa brand by focusing on new locations, as well as areas where we can replace existing operators, such as in supermarkets, hospitals and leisure facilities. Costa will also continue to strengthen its position across international markets, adding 100 net new stores in the year ahead."
Source: annual results statement, 25 February, 2009
Total number of employees: more than 33,000
Financial figures below are from the year to 26 February 2009:
WHITBREAD HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
Turnover: £1.06b (2008: £973.9m)
Operating profit before exceptional items: £254.9m (2008: £233.5m)
Turnover: £601.5m (2008: £527.8m)
Like-for-like sales grew by 6%
Number of hotels: nearly 600
Number of bedrooms: 40,559
Turnover: £460.1m (2008: £446.1m)
Like-for-like sales grew by 4.6%
Number of restaurants: 372
Number of restaurants co-located with a Premier Inn: 328
Brands: Beefeater (130), Brewers Fayre (130), Table Table (105), Taybarns (7)
Turnover: £263.8m (2008: £216.3m)
Operating profit before exceptional items: £22.7m (2008: £20.8m)
Number of outlets: 881 in the UK, 407 overseas
Turnover: £1.33b (2008-5: £1.22b)
Pre-tax profit: £198.6m (2008-5: £134.6m)
Turnover: £682.2m (2007: £605.8m)
Pre-tax profit after exceptional items: £129.2m (2007: £123.2m)
* the figures cover continuing operations
Financial year end: 26 February 2009
Half year end: 28 August 2008
Park Street West