Whitbread raises its Premier Inn expansion targets

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Premier inn Whitbread

Whitbread has said it is increasing its expansion targets for its hotel brand Premier Inn
Whitbread has said it is increasing its expansion targets for its hotel brand Premier Inn
The UK’s largest hotel and restaurants company Whitbread has outlined ambitious expansion plans and growth milestones for 2018 after delivering double-digit growth in sales, profit and dividend for the financial year to 28 February.

The Premier Inn, Beefeater and Costa Coffee operator saw total revenue up 14.2 per cent, with group like-for-likes up 3.7 per cent. It created 3,000 UK jobs over the past year with plans to hire 12,000 more people over the next five years.

Premier Inn

The group now plans to increase the number of Premier Inn hotel rooms in the UK by 45 per cent – an upward revision of its initial target of an extra 65,000 bedrooms by 2016 to 75,000 bedrooms by 2018.

"This is another set of excellent Whitbread results,” said Whitbread’s chief executive Andy Harrison. “Over the past five years, throughout the worst of the economic downturn, Whitbread has grown its sales by 11 per cent and profits by 12 per cent per annum, together with 12 per cent growth in dividends.

“In April 2011 we established ambitious milestones to grow Premier Inn UK rooms by 50 per cent to 65,000 rooms and to double Costa's worldwide system sales to £1.3bn. We are well on track to achieve these milestones and have announced new 2018 milestones to grow Premier Inn UK by 45 per cent to around 75,000 rooms and to double Costa's system sales to around £2bn.

“This exciting organic growth opportunity, together with a clear focus on returns, will continue to create substantial shareholder value."

Costa Coffee

Harrison said the company's coffee shop arm - Costa Coffee - was continuing to dominate the firm's success.

“In the first few weeks of our new financial year, Group trading has been in line with our plan. Premier Inn has maintained its positive momentum. The unseasonably cold weather has held back sales within Restaurants, and benefited Costa."

During the same financial year, like-for-like sales of at the coffee chain increased by 6.8 per cent and Whitbread hopes to double Costa Coffee’s sales to £2bn.

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