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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 10th Dec 2013 - Whitbread reports 13.8% sales growth
Whitbread reports 13.8% sales growth: Whitbread has reported total sales grew 13.8% in the 13 weeks to 28 November, with like-for-like sales up 4.3%. The like-for-like sales gains were led by Premier Inn, which posted 5.4% like-for-likes, followed by Costa Coffee, up 4.9% and its pub restaurants also saw sales up 1.8%. Costa Coffee saw a remarkable 20.4% increase in total sales. The company reported that the restaurants business outperformed its competitive set, with an increase in covers of 0.7%. It added: “In the UK we opened 2,309 new rooms across 20 hotels and six joint site restaurants in the first 39 weeks. For the full year we plan to open around 3,500 new rooms. This is slightly less than originally anticipated including a short delay in the opening of a large Central London Premier Inn, which will now open in early 2014/15. Our new UK hotel pipeline remains strong at around 10,500 rooms, with approximately 4,500 expected to be open in 2014/15. Our pipeline includes 1,000 rooms for our new brand, hub by Premier Inn, with the first hotel due to open in St Martin’s Lane in the second half of 2014.” Chief executive Andy Harrison said: “Whitbread has delivered another strong quarter, with total sales up 13.8% and like-for-like sales up 4.3%, driven by the strength of Premier Inn and Costa and an improved performance from restaurants. This keeps us on track to deliver full year results in line with expectations. For the year to date, we have grown our total sales by 13.0%, driven primarily by the continuing expansion of our Premier Inn and Costa networks. Premier Inn’s total sales have grown by 12.9%, with the opening this year of 22 new hotels with 2,718 new rooms, including two new international hotels. Costa’s total sales have grown by 20.8% with the opening of 246 net new stores worldwide, including 133 in the UK and 54 in China, bringing our total number of stores to 2,773. Our network expansion, as we deliver our growth milestones, combined with a strong focus on returns should continue to generate substantial shareholder value and create many new jobs and career opportunities for our teams.” The company reported Costa continued to “perform strongly” growing total system sales in the 39 weeks to 28 November by 19.4% to £882.0 million. Within this franchise sales were up 17.3% to £347.0 million. UK Retail system sales grew by 17.2% to £473.5 million, with equity stores delivering like for like sales growth of 5.3%. Costa Enterprises grew system sales to £215.6 million, up 23.1%. Costa EMEI grew system sales by 12.1% to £141.0 million. It added: “The Middle East continued to deliver a solid performance while trading in Central and Southern Europe remained difficult. We have opened two new equity stores in Paris, building on the two franchised stores in France. Costa Asia system sales grew by 53.5% to £51.9 million with slightly improved like-for-like sales growth in China for the quarter. Across Asia we opened 65 net new stores in the 39-week period and we continue to invest in infrastructure to support our rollout strategy. We plan to open around 300 net new stores worldwide and to install around 850 Costa Express units in the full year.”
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