Premier Inn Owner Whitbread Reports 80% Fall In Q1 Like-For-Like Sales
Premier Inn owner Whitbread reported an 80% fall in first-quarter like-for-like UK sales on Tuesday July 7, noting improving demand for hotel rooms in tourist spots but subdued demand in London and elsewhere.
Of its more than 1,200 Premier Inn hotels and pubs across the UK, it said that more than 270 hotels and some 24 restaurants have reopened after lockdowns, as have all of its hotels in Germany.
It plans to reopen the rest by the end of this month.
"It is still very early days...to draw any conclusions from our booking trajectory, especially as there has been volatility in hotel performance in other countries that relaxed controls before the UK," said CEO Alison Brittain.
Brittain has been touted as a possible candidate to lead Lloyds after the British bank said its CEO would step down next year.
Shares in Whitbread were down 4% as of 0805 GMT on Tuesday July 7, falling to the bottom of London's FTSE 100.
"Likely To Be A Long Road Back"
"The tone of the statement suggests some optimism that areas that benefit from tourism should be able to cope, however with sports events still closed to the wider public, and business bookings also subdued, it is likely to be a long road back," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said. "This morning's early fall in the share price appears to reflect that early pessimism."
Whitbread, which started out as a brewery in the 18th century, cancelled its dividend and raised £1 billion in a cash call in May.