Whitbread sees boost for pub restaurants
19 June, 2012
Whitbread saw group like-for-like sales increase 4.5% in the 13 weeks to the end of May, driven by strong performances at Premier Inn and Costa Coffee and better trading at its pub restaurants, where like-for-likes grew 2.1%.
The better than expected figures came on the back of a 13.9% increase in total group sales. LFLs were up 4.3% at Premier Inn and 8.4% at Costa. System sales at Premier Inn were up 12.4% and 25% at Costa. The 2.1% LFL increase in restaurants, including Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Table Table, was supported by a 7.4% growth in covers.
Coffer Peach Business Tracker sales figures for May, covering performance of the eating-out market, are published tomorrow, but the underlying annual LFL growth for pub and restaurant groups is currently running at around 2%.
Chief executive Andy Harrison said: "Whitbread has begun the new financial year well. Our consistent investment in product quality and customer experience has helped our strong brands to outperform their competitors. The sharper focus in our restaurants business has helped maintain its improved performance.
"Our plans for profitable growth are well established, supported by our strong balance sheet, and we plan to open 4,200 Premier Inn rooms, eight joint site restaurants and 350 new Costa stores this financial year, creating an additional 3,500 UK jobs. We expect comparative quarterly trading to continue to be variable. April benefitted substantially from a weak comparative due to the extended Royal Wedding holiday in 2011. For the second quarter we face tougher comparatives against a strong result last year, together with the uncertain impact of this summer's major sporting events."
To download the full results satement, go to www.whitbread.co.uk
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