Premier Inn expansion boosts Whitbread sales

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Premier Inn expansion boosts Whitbread sales

Related tags: Premier inn, Cent increase, Hotel

Whitbread has reported a strong first quarter of growth driven by the expansion of its Premier Inn brand.

The group, which also owns Costa, saw total Premier Inn sales rise 14.3 per cent year-on-year following the opening of an additional 333 hotel rooms across the UK since January.

In London the company credited an increase in available rooms (up 23.2 per cent) and high occupancy rates (86.2 per cent) as contributing a a 21.6 per cent increase in sales.

Continued recovery in the regional market saw a 12.3 per cent uplift in sales and total revpar growth of 6.4 per cent, with a 6.2 per cent increase in rooms available. Occupancy was down 0.3 per cent to  79.7 per cent year-on-year.

Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said: “Our leading brands continue to win market share as we invest in our people, our customer experience and our infrastructure. We are on track to deliver our ambitious growth milestones.”

Harrison added that Costa had seen 'an excellent quarter' with total sales up 17.2 per cent, while an increase in customer numbers drove UK sales up five per cent.

Continued expansion

Around 5,500 UK Premier Inn rooms and 250 Costa stores worldwide are planned to open by the end of 2015.

“Our committed UK pipeline has grown to 13,339 [Premier Inn] rooms and construction is underway on 42 new hotel sites as well as 19 hotel extensions,” said Harrison.

The results follow a strong year of trading for Whitbread​, which saw Premier Inn sales grow 9.1 per cent for the financial year to 26 February after opening an additional 33 sites in 2014.

By 2020 the group is aiming to increase the brand to around 900 UK hotels and 85,000 rooms.

Spending on big brands

Hannah Maundrell, editor-in-chief at money.co.uk, credited Whitbread’s strong performance as a sign of returning consumer confidence.

“For the first time in what seems a long time households have spare cash to spend on treats like take-out coffee and travel thanks to our low inflation environment, and they certainly seem to be making the most of it. The hope is that Brits aren't sticking to big brands so smaller businesses can enjoy this comparative boom too,” she said.

Related topics: Business, Hotels

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