Jun 27, 2018

Costa Coffee push into China and self-service boost Whitbread

The expansion of Costa Coffee in China and self-service "Express" machines across the UK has helped Whitbread, the chain's owner, offset sale declines on Britain's high streets hit by falling consumer spending. Whitbread in April announced plans to spin off Costa Coffee after succumbing to pressure from two large shareholders, the hedge funds Sachem Head and Elliott Advisors. In a trading update on Wednesday, Whitbread said that like-for-like sales at Costa had fallen 2 per cent in its first quarter. Overall Costa sales rose 4.9 per cent in the three months from March 1, boosted by the group's recent and aggressive rollout of express machines in the UK and its push into China. In its fiscal year 2018, same-store sales at Costa rose 1.2 per cent, compared with 2 per cent in 2017 and 2.9 per cent in 2016.

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