We applaud Andy Harrison and his team for driving a good recent performance, but our concerns over returns dilution longer-term, particularly given the new milestones and doubled overseas hotels capex budget, remain intact, while a below-market average dividend yield limits shareholder rewards.
PATRICK COFFEY LIBERUM CAPITAL
These targets should be taken well and we see upside risk to consensus expectations...Whitbread remains a top medium-term pick...There is strategic optionality (demerge Costa or sell restaurants), a clearly defined vision to expand... not to mention market leading brands winning market share
SIMON FRENCH PANMURE GORDON
The new growth milestones will attract the headlines but we are not convinced the Premier Inn target, in particular, is realistic...we are not convinced the Premier Inn target is realistic particularly given the group intends to open half of the new 23,000 rooms in London which is increasingly competitive.