Sales and profits grow at Whitbread

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Premier inn Whitbread Hotel

Sales and profits grow at Whitbread
Pre-tax profits for 2008 rise 9 per cent to £229m at Premier Inn owner Whitbread with overall revenue for the group up almost 10 per cent to £1,334m

Pre-tax profits at Whitbread rose more than 9 per cent last year with the hotel and restaurants division performing particularly well `in an increasingly challenging consumer environment`.

Sales at Whitbread`s budget hotel chain Premier Inn went up 14 per cent to £601m and revpar grew 2.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the 52 weeks to February 26.

Restaurant sales were up 3 per cent to £460m with like- for-like covers up 7.9 per cent and like-for-like sales up 4.6 per cent which the group said was `assisted by new menus and improved environments`.

Total sales for the company, which also owns Costa coffee were up up 9.7 per cent to £1,334m. Pre-tax profits rose 9 per cent to £229m.

Whitbread chairman Anthony Habgood said: "2008/09 was a year of good progress and, against a backdrop of increasingly difficult economic conditions, we delivered an industry leading performance."

Chief executive Alan Parker added: "Decisive action has been taken to improve our operating efficiency with margins maintained. Our relentless customer focus and drive to offer both value for money and quality, together with our robust financial position, mean that Whitbread is well placed for these tougher times.”

The group opened 55 new Premier Inn hotels during the course of the year, adding 4,553rooms to its estate and opened 13 new restaurants including six new Table Table restaurants and six Taybarns.

Parker said the company would remain `committed to opportunities and growth in the longer term` but would slow down expansion throughout 2009.

The company is aiming to add 2,000 new rooms to its Premier Inn estate in the UK†and overseas throughout 2009 and 2010 and open 100 new Costa outlets as well as continue with its training scheme.

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