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Trading statements

Whitbread total LFL sales up 2.9% in 13wks to June 1

21 June 2017 07:21

Whitbread has reported a 2.9% rise in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 1 June, with total sales up 7.6% over the same period.

CEO Alison Brittain said this performance was in line with its expectations. "Our continued drive to grow and innovate in our core UK businesses, focus on our strengths internationally and build capabilities to support long-term growth, combined with our ongoing cost efficiency programme, gives us confidence that we will make further good progress this year."

LFL sales in the 13-week period were up for Premier Inn, Restaurants and Costa, with total sales also up for all three. Premier Inn's performance stood out, with LFL sales up 4.7% and total sales up 9.2%.

"We have a clear plan to deliver growth in our existing estate and remain on track to open c.4,200 hotel rooms, 230-250 Costa coffee shops and install c.1,250 Costa Express machines this year."

"Premier Inn continued to win overall market share with strong sales growth of 9.2% as we benefited from a resilient hotel market and the contribution from the c.9,000 rooms we opened over the last two years, which are maturing well," the CEO said

"Our digital development team continued to innovate for our customers and we launched our personalised business to business booking platform that helped to maintain our direct bookings at 94% of sales.

"We were pleased that total UK occupancy was up compared to the first quarter last year at 79.2%, at the same time as we increased our capacity."

Costa sales grew 8.7% with UK equity like for like growth of 1.1% and a good performance in Whitbread's expanding travel and drive thru channels.

"We are focused on executing on our initiatives, rolling out 'Cold Brew' in over 200 of our stores and our latest summer Frostino and cooler drinks have just gone on sale this month.

"We also successfully introduced our new breakfast range towards the end of the quarter, with further new food ranges launching throughout the year. Costa Express continued its expansion with 300 net installations during the quarter.

"In May we officially opened our new Roastery giving us capacity to grow over the next 20 years and provide us with an industry-leading centre for coffee innovation and training."

Internationally, in Germany Whitbread's Premier Inn hotel in Frankfurt was performing well and the company continued to develop its current committed pipeline of five hotels.

"Meanwhile, in Costa, we are seeing good progress in China with positive like for like sales growth. We aim to accelerate the development of our international businesses in these attractive markets and continue to look for opportunities to grow more quickly.

"In line with our property strategy we completed the sale and leaseback of our 247 room hotel in Shoreditch, with proceeds of £51 million representing a good yield of just under 4%, reflecting the strength of Whitbread's covenant. We expect proceeds of around £100-150 million from sale and leaseback transactions this year.

"We have a clear plan to deliver growth in our existing estate and remain on track to open c.4,200 hotel rooms, 230-250 Costa coffee shops and install c.1,250 Costa Express machines this year."

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: WTB

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