Premier Inn Owner Whitbread Profit Beats Expectations, Raises Dividend

By Dave Simpson
Premier Inn Owner Whitbread Profit Beats Expectations, Raises Dividend

Whitbread Plc's full-year profit beat expectations and the Premier Inn owner raised its annual dividend on Tuesday 25 April, thanks to a robust holiday season without any COVID-19 related restrictions.


Adjusted profit before tax came in at £413 million for the 52-week period ending 2 March, 15% higher than pre-pandemic levels, Whitbread, which also owns steakhouses Beefeater and Bar+Block, said.

Analysts on an average were expecting the hotel chain owner to log a profit of 378.3 million pounds, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Shares of the company were up 4.4% at 3264 pence 0810 GMT on Tuesday 25 April.

While the lifting of COVID restrictions has served a boost to businesses, a cost of living crisis has seen demand for budget hotel chains and airlines soar as consumers restrict spending.


Its UK accommodation sales were up 17% in the seven weeks to 20 April, the company said.

"The return to economic normality post pandemic with the removal of travel restrictions and the release of pent-up demand boosted demand for hotel rooms at Whitbread," Victoria Scholar, head of investment at online investment platform interactive investor.

Profit from Whitbread's UK division was up 19% from 2020, while revenue per available room from the region was 27% above pre-pandemic levels.

The company's food and beverage sales soared 40% from a year ago, but was still 4% below pre-pandemic levels.

The budget hotel added it had seen an uptick in demand for its rooms for the weekend of King Charles' coronation.


Whitbread's hotels around the Westminster area were sold out in about 15 minutes of the date being announced, CEO Dominic Paul told Reuters.

Annual Dividend And Share Buyback Programme

The company also raised its annual dividend to 74.2 pence, up 114% from a year ago, and launched a £300 million share buyback programme.

Read More: Premier Inn Owner Whitbread Q3 Sales Rise On Strong UK Bookings

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.