Jun 21, 2017
Costa owner Whitbread ‘on track’, helped by Premier Inn
Whitbread said it was off to a "Good start" to the year's trading, boosted by growing sales at its Premier Inns chain thanks to a resilient hotels market, which has helped to offset stalling sales groups Costa Coffee stores that been hit by falling consumer confidence. After years of slowing sales growth, Alison Brittain, chief executive, has attempted to engineer a turnaround through a rapid international expansion and a focus on offering more expensive "Finer coffee concepts". On Wednesday, reporting results for the 13 weeks to 1 June 2017, the company said like-for-like sales at Premier Inn had grown 4.7 per cent, up from 2.1 per cent over the equivalent period last year. Over the first quarter of 2017, like-for-like sales at Costa grew at just 1.1 per cent, a fall from 2.6 per cent over the equivalent period last year. "Ms Brittain said Whitbread's overall sales growth of 7.6 per cent for the first quarter of 2017 was"in line with expectations.
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