Whitbread sees Costa Coffee sales boost and Premier Inn recovery

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

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Whitbread reported an 11.2 per cent increase in total revenue for the financial year to 1 March
Whitbread reported an 11.2 per cent increase in total revenue for the financial year to 1 March
Restaurant, hotel and coffee shop operator Whitbread has reported an 11.2 per cent increase in total revenue for the financial year to 1 March 2012, with Group like-for-like sales also up 2.6 per cent.

Costa Coffee sales were the greatest improvement, growing by 27.5 per cent. Premier Inn sales increased by 8.6 per cent, while Restaurants sales were up 1.8 per cent. The Group did, however, admit that trading had been ‘variable’ during the year, with the trend expected to continue.

“We remain on track to achieve our five-year growth milestones,” said Whitbread’s chief executive Andy Harrison. “In Premier Inn UK, we have nearly 58,000 rooms in our existing estate and committed pipeline, taking us towards our 2016 milestone of 65,000 rooms.

“Last year we grew Costa’s worldwide network by 18 per cent, well on the way towards our five-year goal of doubling the size of Costa. This growth, combined with our strong focus on returns should create substantial shareholder value.

“Trading in 2011/12 was variable month by month and we expect this to continue with short term comparatives affected by the phasing of bank holidays and the Olympics.”

Costa Coffee

Whitbread’s Costa Coffee brand saw underlying profits up 38 per cent to £69.7m from £50.5m a year earlier, while worldwide system sales were up 24.3 per cent to £819.3m. Like-for-like sales in UK equity stores were up 5.5 per cent.

The Group statement read: "We plan to open 350 (Costa) stores in 2012/13 putting us well on track to achieve our growth milestones of £1.3bn system sales, 3,500 stores worldwide and around 3,000 Costa Express machines by 2015/16.”

Premier Inn

Premier Inn revenue rose by 8.3 per cent to £755.9m from £697.8m, with like-for-like sales growth easing to 3.2 per cent from the previous year's 8.6 per cent growth rate. 

Occupancy levels edged up to 75.8 per cent from 75.5 per cent, while the hotel brand’s website saw visitor numbers increasing by 26.9 per cent to 44m in the year - 77 per cent of bookings are now made through automated channels. 


The Group’s restaurants, which include the Beefeater Grill and Brewers Fayre brands, saw like-for-like sales down 0.2 per cent after rising 3.3 per cent the year before. The second half of the year saw the sales 1.2 per cent higher than in the second half of the preceding year.

Total revenue edged up 1.8% to £483.4m from £474.9m the year before, helped by a first time contribution from 12 new restaurants opened during the year. Whitbread plans to open another six in the current financial year.

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