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Tue 16th Jun 2015 - Whitbread's new ceo to arrive early
Whitbread’s new ceo to arrive early: Whitbread’s next chief executive Alison Brittain is to arrive early – she will now be joining Whitbread as chief executive designate on 28 September. She will start as chief executive on 7 December enabling a ‘smooth transition’ with Andy Harrison who will be retiring from the company on that date. She was previously due to arrive in February 2016. Meanwhile, the company reported Premier Inn like-for-like sales up 7.1% in the 13 weeks to 28 May, with restaurants up 0.1% and Costa Coffee growing in like-for-like terms by 5%. Chief executive Andy Harrison said: “Whitbread has begun the new financial year well, in line with expectations, with total sales growth for the first quarter of 12.5% and good like for like sales growth of 4.3%, driven by continued momentum in Premier Inn and Costa. Premier Inn grew its total sales by 14.3%, with a powerful combination of strong like for like sales growth of 6.3% and an 8.2% increase in rooms available. Total revpar grew by 6.1% and occupancy remained high at 80.6%. In London we saw pleasing sales growth of 21.6% driven by a 23.2% increase in rooms available, whilst maintaining high occupancy at 86.2%. In the regions we delivered another good performance growing total sales by 12.3%, with occupancy of 79.7%. Our restaurants business grew like for like sales by 0.1%, slightly ahead of a soft pub restaurant market outside the M25. Costa had another excellent quarter with total sales growth of 17.2% and UK Retail like for like sales growth of 5.0% driven by winning more customers with like for like transaction growth of 4.4%. Costa’s international business continues to grow rapidly with a 15.1% growth in system sales (14.1% at constant currency). Our leading brands continue to win market share as we invest in our people, our customer experience and our infrastructure. We are on track to deliver our ambitious growth milestones. This year we plan to open around 5,500 new Premier Inn UK rooms and around 250 net new Costa stores worldwide. Our committed UK pipeline has grown to 13,339 rooms and construction is underway on 42 new hotel sites as well as 19 hotel extensions.”

Domino’s Pizza Poland issues new shares to fund 20 site roll-out: Domino’s Pizza Poland is issuing 34,810,126 new shares at 15.8p per share to fund the opening of 20 new company-owned sites in Poland. The company stated: “Whilst the long term focus of the business is to sub-franchise the Domino’s Pizza brand in Poland, the shorter term focus will be to roll-out both corporately-owned and sub-franchised stores in cities and towns across the country. The roll-out of corporately-owned stores is intended to further establish and prove the company’s business model outside of Warsaw, which the Directors believe will lead to increased sub-franchising activity in the future. As at 31 December 2014 the group’s net cash balance was approximately £4.5 million. This level of cash resources is not sufficient to fund the company’s plans, involving an accelerated roll-out of corporately-owned stores and it is for this reason that the company is seeking further equity capital from existing and new investors by way of the Placing. The net proceeds of the Placing are expected to provide the additional funding required to enable the company to implement its plans including opening up to 20 further corporately-owned stores in 2016/17 and sustaining marketing expenditure on boosting awareness of the Domino’s Pizza brand and offering in Poland over the next three years. The proposed opening of further corporately-owned stores will impact group Ebitda in the short term as the group absorbs the opening costs and losses on those new corporately-owned stores during their initial loss-making phase. In the longer term, however, the directors believe these new stores will leave DPP in a stronger position, further proving its business model in cities outside Warsaw and opening the way for sub-franchising new stores in these cities. The group’s target is to have 80 stores by 2020.” Peter Shaw, chief executive of DP Poland, added: “The company has delivered significant progress during the first five months of 2015. The strong financial and KPI performance from the stores gives the board comfort that our momentum is set to continue. The board is extremely pleased with the support that we have received from both existing and new investors during this fundraising and we are entirely focussed on delivering our growth strategy and realising the significant opportunity for Domino’s Pizza in Poland.”

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