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Tue 9th Sep 2014 - Whitbread reports 6.8% like-for-likes
Whitbread reports 6.8% like-for-likes: Whitbread has reported 6.8% like-for-like sales growth in the 11 weeks to 14 August. Like-for-like sale sales growth was led by Premier Inn, up 9.2%, with Costa Coffee like-for-likes up 7.3% and restaurants up 1.7%. Overall sales grew by 12.8%. Chief executive Andy Harrison said: “We have delivered another strong quarter’s trading, thanks to the hard work of all the Whitbread teams. This maintains our excellent growth record with a total sales increase of 12.8% and a like for like sales increase of 6.8% for the 11 weeks to 14 August. Premier Inn grew total sales by 14.7% and like for like sales by 9.2% in the quarter, benefiting from a buoyant hotel market especially in the UK regions. This was helped by the improving economy as well as special events, including the Farnborough Airshow and the Commonwealth Games. Premier Inn delivered a strong combination of 5.6% growth in UK rooms available, an 8.6% growth in total revpar and a rise in total occupancy of 3.1% pts to an all time high of 87.0%. Our restaurants also performed well, ahead of the market, with like for like sales growth of 1.7%. Costa had a good summer with total sales growth of 17.8% and like-for-like UK sales growth of 7.3%, aided by weak comparatives from last year’s warmer than average July. In early September, Costa launched Old Paradise Street Limited Roast, which is a new range of limited edition roast blends. This will provide coffee lovers with a wider choice of great tasting coffee, in addition to Costa’s Mocha Italia, from the UK’s favourite coffee shop. Whitbread remains on track for another good year. Our strong brands continue to win market share, reinforced by ambitious organic network expansion. We plan to open around 4,500 new Premier Inn rooms and five joint site restaurants along with around 300 net new Costa stores this year. Our committed pipeline has grown to around 13,000 UK rooms.” Whitbread said trading highlights for the first 24 weeks of its financial year were:

Hotels and Restaurants:
• Premier Inn has continued to win market share, growing total sales for the 24 weeks by 14.4%, total revpar by 8.7% and the number of rooms available by 5.5%. Total occupancy was 83.6%, up 3.7% pts on last year and total room nights sold increased by 10.4% to 7.7 million.

• In London we grew total sales by 10.6% with a 9.3% increase in the number of rooms available. Our total revpar grew by 1.5% with occupancy at 88.7%. For the London hotel market total revpar grew by 2.6%, and for the Midscale and Economy sector it grew by 7.4%.

• In the UK regions our total sales grew by 15.4%, with a 5.1% increase in the number of rooms available. Our total revpar grew by 10.1% with occupancy at 82.9%, up 4.2% pts. For the regional hotel market total revpar grew by 9.8%, and for the Midscale and Economy sector it grew by 13.7%. 

• Restaurants delivered a good performance, benefiting from favourable weather comparatives, with like for like sales growth of 3.1% and like for like covers up 0.9%.

• 758 UK rooms have been opened in the year to date and for the full year we plan to open around 4,500 new UK rooms and five joint site restaurants.

Costa Coffee:
• Costa grew worldwide system sales by 15.3% to £602.4 million and, within this, franchise system sales grew by 14.2% to £236.7 million.

• UK Retail system sales grew by 16.4% to £325.4 million, with equity stores delivering like for like sales growth of 5.8%. We have opened 76 net new UK stores in the year to date. 

• Costa Enterprises (including Costa Express) delivered system sales of £151.5 million, up 19.1%. There are now 3,915 Costa Express units.

• International system sales grew by 9.3% to £126.8 million, with growth of 4.3% in EMEI and 20.8% in Costa Asia.

• We plan to open around 300 net new stores and 600 Costa Express units in the full year.

The company added: “The strong financial position of the Group remains unchanged. In the first quarter interim management statement we reported that capital expenditure for this financial year was expected to be over £400 million. Since then we have taken the opportunity, helped by our financial strength, to acquire three further freehold hotel sites in London (Clapham, Sutton and Westminster) and we now expect capital expenditure to be around £500 million.”

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