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Whitbread sees growth moderate in Q3

As expected Whitbread, which owns the Costa and Premier Inn chains, reported a slight slowdown in group like-for-like (LFL) sales in the third quarter but said that it was still on track to meet full-year expectations.

As expected Whitbread, which owns the Costa and Premier Inn chains, reported a slight slowdown in group like-for-like (LFL) sales in the third quarter but said that it was still on track to meet full-year expectations.

Total sales rose by 14.4% in the 13 weeks to November 29th, as a strong performance from Costa (+25.5%) and Premier Inn (+12.6%) offset a more subdued showing by the Restaurants division (+4.1%).

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On a LFL basis, total sales were up 3.3% year-on-year, down from the 4.3% growth seen in the first half. However, the group had warned in interim results that it would likely see a "moderation" of LFL growth in the second half post-Olympics, with the London hotel market "settling" and consumer markets remaining "broadly flat".

"Whitbread continued its strong growth momentum with total sales up 14.4% together with good LFL sales growth of 3.3%. This once again demonstrates the strength of our brands," said Chief Executive Andy Harrison.

"The economic environment remains challenging with no change in our background consumer market. We are on track to deliver full-year results in line with expectations," he said.

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