Whitbread Sales Advance on Growth in Costa Coffee Revenue

Whitbread Plc, the owner of Premier Inn budget hotels and Costa coffee shops, said like-for-like sales climbed 3.1 percent in the 13 weeks to May 30 as the wintery British weather forced consumers indoors.

Sales at Costa outlets open at least a year rose 8 percent because of unseasonably cold conditions, the Dunstable, England-based company said today in a statement. Like-for-like sales at Premier Inn rose 2.7 percent.

Whitbread has been growing its business while competitor Travelodge Ltd., another budget hotel chain, has been focused on restructuring its debt. Whitbread shares climbed as much as 4.8 percent to 3,064 pence in London, the highest since January 1992.

“We aren’t seeing any more competition,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Harrison said on a conference call today. Whitbread has taken 10 or 12 sites from Travelodge’s development pipeline, he said.

Premier Inn reported a 1.7 percent increase in revenue per available room, an industry gauge of profitability, to 42.57 pounds ($50), Whitbread said.

The update “lays solid foundations for another strong year,” analysts at Deutsche Bank said in an emailed note. “If the positive hotel and Costa trading momentum is maintained, we think forecast risks are to the upside.”

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