Whitbread energised by sleep and coffee, but warns of slowdown

Whitbread topped one billion pounds of sales in the first half after strong performances from Premier Inn and Costa Coffee.

Whitbread topped one billion pounds of sales in the first half after strong performances from Premier Inn and Costa Coffee.

However, the firm added that it expected growth to slow going forward, following the bonus trade it enjoyed off the back of the Jubilee bank holiday and the Olympics.

Total revenue soared 14.2% to £1.02bn, with group like-for-like sales up 4.3%.

Underlying pre-tax profits were up 10.6% to £193.4m, with earnings per share up 13.1% to 81.65p.

Whitbread's hotels and restaurants division showed underlying profit up 8.5% to £181.3m, with Premier Inn UK growing total sales by 12.9%.

Premier Inn revenue increased by 12.9% to £443.5m and restaurants revenue was up by 5.3% to £262.4m.

The hotel chain opened 1,591 net UK rooms taking the total to 49,020, with the firm saying it was on track to have 65,000 rooms in 2016.

But Whitbread said that after a boost from the Olympics and the Jubilee it expected sales growth to ease in the second half.

It also said while London had benefitted from the Olympics, UK regions had continued to decline.

Coffee chain Costa reported profits up 29.9% to £36.1m, with total sales up 25%, helped by poor summer weather.

Whitbread's outlook for its consumer market is one that continues to be broadly flat.

"Against this background we expect to continue to outperform our competitors and like for like sales growth to be more moderate than the high levels achieved in the first half," the firm said.

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