Whitbread Leads FTSE 100 Gains as Costa, Premier Beat Estimates

Whitbread Plc rose the most in two months after first-quarter sales at its Premier Inn budget hotels and Costa Coffee shops beat estimates

Whitbread rose as much as 4.1 percent to 4,340 pence in London trading, the biggest gain since April 17 and the best performance on the FTSE 100 Index.

Like-for-like sales at Premier Inn rose 9.5 percent in the quarter ended May 29 while Costa had a 4.5 percent increase, the Dunstable, England-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had expected gains of 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Demand for hotel rooms and coffee is growing as the British economy rebounds from the slump that followed the global financial crisis. Britain’s economy expanded by 0.8 percent in the first quarter and is on track to be the fastest-growing among the Group of Seven nations this year.

Whitbread was up 2.9 percent at 4,290 pence at 10:12 a.m. giving the company a market value of about 8.4 billion pounds ($14.2 billion). The shares have gained about 15 percent this year.

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