General Industry

Whitbread Sees Sales Progress as Costa Coffee, Hotels Gain

By Publications Checkout
Whitbread Sees Sales Progress as Costa Coffee, Hotels Gain

Whitbread maintained its sales growth in the first quarter as Costa Coffee shops and Premier Inns budget hotels exceeded analyst estimates.

Sales rose 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the period through June 2, the UK-based company said Tuesday. Sales rose 1.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, hurt by a drop in hotel bookings due to terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.

“In the context of a weak UK hotel and consumer market, these are a fairly solid set of numbers,” Simon Larkin, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a note.

Whitbread shares rose 3.1 per cent to 4,166 pence at 8:26 a.m. in London yesterday, the biggest advance in the UK FTSE 100 Index. The stock may be one of the most hurt in the leisure and hospitality industry if the UK votes to leave the European Union this week because it’s sensitive to spending by British companies, according to Barclays Plc analysts.

Like-for-like sales grew by 2.1 per cent at Premier Inn, compared with the median analyst estimate of 1.6 per cent growth. Costa Coffee’s UK like-for-like sales rose 2.6 per cent, compared with an estimate of 1.9 per cent growth and the prior quarter’s 0.5 per cent gain.

"Although it is early in our new financial year and despite current market conditions, with the benefit of our cost-efficiency program we remain confident of making good progress for the full year," Chief Executive Officer Alison Brittain said in the statement.

News from Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland