Jun 21, 2017

Whitbread off to ‘good start’ to year boosted by Premier Inn

Whitbread has said it is off to a "Good start" to the year, with rising revenues at its Premier Inn chain offsetting stalling growth at its Costa Coffee stores, which have been hit by falling consumer confidence. On Wednesday, reporting results for the 13 weeks to June 1, the company said like-for-like sales at Premier Inn had grown 4.7 per cent, amid a resilient hotels market. In April, reporting full-year results to March 2 2017, Whitbread revealed slowing sales growth at both its hotel and coffee shop businesses and warned it could be hit by a "Tougher consumer environment" this year as "People are being more careful with the pound in their pocket". Over the first quarter of this financial year, the company said Premier Inn had been able to continue to win market share against other budget and mid-range hotel groups, such as Travelodge. Whitbread's Premier Inn bounce is impressive but the continued slowdown at Costa, at least in terms of like-for-like sales, may be a worry to some.

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