Mixed fortunes for Whitbread as Costa growth outstrips Premier Inn and restaurant businesses

Staff at work at a Costa coffee shop.
Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Staff at work at a Costa coffee shop. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Whitbread has seen sales at its Costa coffee shop chain perk up, but its restaurant and hotel arms have fared less well.

The group said like-for-like sales at Costa grew 4.3% in the 13 weeks to December 1, up from 2.9% growth as of November 26, but comparable sales at its restaurants, which include Beefeater and Brewer’s Fare, fell by 1.5%.

And although like-for-like revenues at its Premier Inn budget hotels business rose 1.8% during the quarter, revenue per room fell by 4.2% in London and by 1.3% overall as tourists flocking to the capital to take advantage of the weak pound opted for more upmarket rooms.

However, Whitbread said its pub restaurants had, despite the dip in sales, outperformed a “soft” wider market outside the M25.

It added that the sales increase at Costa came after a new advertising push, as well as extra trading days.

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Chief executive Alison Brittain said the group was making “good progress” on its expansion plans, which include 3,700 new UK Premier Inn rooms, 230 to 250 new Costa coffee shops worldwide and the installation of 1,500 more Costa Express machines.

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