Whitbread sales drop 3% in first six months of 2009

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Whitbread

Seven new Premier Inns were opened in the first half of the year
Seven new Premier Inns were opened in the first half of the year
Premier Inn owner Whitbread said it was coming through a 'difficult period remarkably well' and was well-placed for the upturn despite seeing sales and profits drop nearly 3 per cent in the first half of this year

Premier Inn owner Whitbread​ said it was coming through a 'difficult period remarkably well' and was well-placed for the upturn despite seeing sales and profits drop nearly 3 per cent in the first half of this year.

Group like-for-like sales dropped 2.7 per cent and underlying profit before tax fell by the same percentage to £118.2m during the six months to 27 August 2007.

Sales at Whitbread's coffee chain Costa stopped the group's margins falling more steeply, however, as sales there rose 20 per cent and chief executive Alan Parker said although revpar had dropped 9.2 per cent at Premier Inn the average for the market was 11 per cent down for the same period.

He said: "In the face of the toughest trading conditions for years, we have taken strong management actions to outperform the market and reduce costs. Encouraging progress has been made, which has continued into the second half of the year. Whitbread's value for money brands have considerable appeal for today's price conscious customers. We remain confident about the outturn for the year, subject to any marked deterioration in the economic environment."

Whitbread opened seven new Premier Inns increasing its estate by 1,000 rooms in the first half of the year and upgraded 65 of its pub restaurants, which include Beefeater and Table Table during the same period.

Anthony Habgood, chairman of Whitbread added: "Whitbread is coming through a difficult period relatively well. We remain focused on managing the business tightly during these challenging times and ensuring the company is well-placed to benefit when conditions improve.”

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