Jan 16, 2020

Whitbread hobbled by UK uncertainty and looks to German expansion

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, warned on Thursday that it would continue to be hit by economic uncertainty and higher costs in the UK despite a firmer political environment following last month's general election. Whitbread has struggled over the past year as bookings for business and leisure travel dipped in the wake of Brexit uncertainty. "While sentiment around Brexit uncertainty has improved, we believe it will take much longer for this to translate into UK investment spend, which is the key cyclical driver for hotels," the RBC analysts said. In order to dilute its reliance on the UK market, Whitbread has invested in opening Premier Inn hotels in Germany where it now has a pipeline of almost 50 hotels. "Despite the short-term economic uncertainty, there remains significant long-term opportunities for Premier Inn in both the UK and Germany," she said.

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