Apr 25, 2017

Whitbread warns of consumer spending slowdown

Sales growth has slowed at Costa Coffee and Premier Inns, leading owner Whitbread to warn it could be hit by a "Tougher consumer environment" this year. Reporting results for 52 weeks to March 2 2017, overall group revenues increased 8.2 per cent to £3.1bn, while underlying pre-tax profits rose 6.2 per cent to £562.2m. In response, the company increased its full-year dividend by 6 per cent to 95.80p. "We're pretty happy with the position we're in," said Alison Brittain, Whitbread chief executive. Sales at Premier Inn increased 6.6 per cent to £1.9bn, but like-for-like growth at its budget hotels division rose only 1.5 per cent. Over the same period the previous year, Premier Inn's total sales growth was 12.9 per cent while like-for-like sales grew 4.2 per cent. Over the same period the previous year, Costa's total sales growth was 15.3 per cent, while like-for-like sales grew 2.9 per cent.

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