Whitbread sees restaurant sales nudge up
26 February, 2013
Whitbread has seen sales at its restaurant brands continue to improve, with like-for-like sales edging up 0.2% in the 14 weeks to 14 February. The Costa coffee business meanwhile saw a 5.5% like-for-like gain.
Commenting on the group's 4th quarter performance ceo Andy Harrison said: "Across Whitbread, we maintained our strong momentum with total sales growth of 16.9%, although the headline like for like sales growth of 2.7% was slightly suppressed by adverse weather conditions in January, particularly affecting the restaurants business."
But he added: "Our restaurants continued to improve, outperforming the Coffer Peach Tracker industry benchmark, with like for like sales growth of 0.2%. Premier Inn continued to outperform its competitive set and delivered total sales growth of 14.1% together with like for like sales growth of 2.9%. Costa continued to excel with total sales up 32.2% and UK like for like equity store sales up 5.5%."
Over the 14 week period, the restaurant operation, which includes Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Table Table, saw total sales up 2.7% on last year. For the year to date (the 50 weeks to 14 February), total sales were up 4.7% and LFLs up 2.3%. Restaurants also delivered total covers growth of 5.5% for the year to date.
It will open 10 new restaurants, co-sited with Premier Inn hotels thsi year, with a similar number next.
In Costa, total sales in the 14 weeks were up 32.2%, and for the year to date ahead 26.9%, with LFLS up 6.6%.
Harrison said: "For the financial year to date, Whitbread has again delivered outstanding organic growth in a flat consumer market. Our strong brands continue to win market share, supported by our highest ever guest satisfaction scores and rapid expansion of our network. Good like for like sales growth of 3.7% demonstrates the consumer appeal of our brands and also enables us to reinvest in our people and facilities and to grow our estate."
For Costa, UK retail system sales grew by 20.2% to £525.2m, with equity stores delivering like for like sales growth of 6.6%. Costa Enterprises grew system sales to £225.6m up 29.7%.
Costa Asia system sales grew by 71.7% to £45.7m. The company says it is on track to open 320 net new stores worldwide and around 1,300 Costa Express units in the full year. Next year it plans to open a broadly similar number of net new stores worldwide and over 500 Costa Express units.
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