Oct 22, 2019

Whitbread posts drop in profit amid ‘challenging’ UK market

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, reported a first-half drop in pre-tax profit and UK accommodation like-for-like sales amid "Challenging" market conditions in the UK as business and leisure confidence weakened. "We have delivered a resilient first-half profit performance despite challenging market conditions in the UK," said Alison Brittain, Whitbread chief executive. Total UK accommodation sales dropped 0.6 per cent while like-for-like sales fell 3.6 per cent, hit by weak regional market conditions. As the UK market has been roiled with uncertainty over the UK's tortuous departure from the EU, the group said its confidence in the long-term opportunities in Germany is increasing with "Expansion plans firmly on target". "Whilst the near-term market conditions in the UK remain uncertain, we have confidence in the long-term structural opportunities available in the domestic budget travel markets in the UK and Germany."

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