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Trading statements

Whitbread makes good progress

26 January 2017 07:36

Whitbread says its total sales rose 8.3% in 39 weeks to Dec. 1, 2016, and on a like-for-like basis are up 1.9%, as it continues to make good progress on its three-point strategic plan.

The outfit expects to deliver FY results in line with expectations. In the 13 weeks to the same date, the company's Q3, total sales rose 8.6%, and 1.7% on a LFL basis.

CEO Alison Brittain said Whitbread remained on track to open about 3700 new UK Premier Inn rooms and its committed pipeline stood at about 14,000 UK hotel rooms.

"We have also recently signed two additional sites in Germany (Freiburg and Essen) taking our committed German pipeline to five hotels," she said.

"We expect to open 230-250 net new Costa coffee shops worldwide and to install at least 1500 new Costa Express machines, having already surpassed our previous guidance of 1250 in the current financial year."

Brittain said that in Q3, Whitbread's brands continued to win market share growing total sales by 8.6% and like for like sales by 1.7%.

"Trading since the end of the quarter is such that we expect to deliver full year results in line with expectations," she opined. Premier Inn grew total sales in the quarter by 9.2%.

"We have opened 15 hotels in the UK since the start of the year, increasing the number of rooms available by 9.7%, whilst maintaining occupancy at a high level of 84.5%. Like for like sales grew by 1.8% benefitting from our hotel extension programme which, as expected, diluted our like for like revpar, which was down 1.3%." In Q3, Costa delivered total sales growth of 12.5% and good like-for-like sales growth of 4.3%.

"This performance was supported by its new advertising and promotional campaigns and benefitted from the timing of the quarter end, which included a strong start to the Christmas period. For the comparable period, to 26 November, excluding this timing benefit, Costa's like for like sales growth was 2.9%," said Brittain.

"Our property strategy is to carry out a modest number of sale and lease back transactions in order to recycle capital into strong returning new growth opportunities and we successfully completed two such transactions in December.

"We now expect total sale proceeds for the year to be in the region of £200 million. These transactions highlight the strong asset backing to our balance sheet and are evidence of how we optimise our significant property portfolio."

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Related Company: WTB

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