For the 24 weeks to 15 August, sales were up across Whitbread’s Hotels & Restaurants division, along with its Costa Coffee and Premier Inn brands. However, in the second quarter of its financial year to date, that sales growth appeared to slow, with the increase in total like-for-likes dropping to 2.1 per cent.
Costa once again lead the Whitbread pack, with total sales up by 20.8 per cent and like-for-likes up 5.7 per cent for the 24-week period. In the year to date, Whitbread has opened 78 new UK Costa stores.
Whitbread’s Restaurants division saw a 0.1 per cent fall in like-for-likes, while like-for-like sales growth in Hotels and Restaurants remained static at 1.8 per cent. In fact, Premier Inn is the only Whitbread brand to have achieved a rise in like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter, up by 3 per cent against a first-half total of 2.9 per cent.
Premier Inn growth
For the 24 weeks, the ever-growing budget hotel brand grew total sales by 12.1 per cent, total RevPAR by 2.3 per cent and total room nights sold by 10.7 per cent to 7.2 million.
“We are on track with our annual plan and our ambitious five-year growth milestones,” said Whitbread’s chief executive Andy Harrison. “Combined with our emphasis on returns, this growth should continue to create substantial shareholder value.”
Premier Inn, which operates more than 650 hotels across the UK, unsurprisingly saw sales growth at its strongest in London; up by 16.1 per cent as the number of available rooms increased by 11.9 per cent year-on-year. Business for its hotels in the regions remains healthy, though, with sales and RevPAR up by 10.4 and 2.5 per cent respectively.
These financial results come in the same week that Premier Inn announced the launch of a brand new meeting space offering which will be rolled out across the UK this week. ‘Premier Meetings’ offers a real-time booking and payment process for businesses to efficiently book a meeting room from the 290 available in 80 Premier Inn hotels across the UK.
Businesses can set their basic search terms to see all meeting rooms available on their chosen date along with room dimensions and specifications, menu choices and the price.
Day delegate rates start from £15 and include free Wi-Fi, mineral water, and Premier Meetings jotter and pen. To make a Premier Meetings booking, businesses can go directly to www.premiermeetings.co.uk.