Costa Coffee owner Whitbread boosts sales by 13.9 per cent

Sales at hotel and restaurant group Whitbread, the owner of Costa Coffee, were up 13.9 per cent in the last quarter.

Excluding new openings, like-for-like sales were up 4.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to 31 May 2012, the group said this morning.

Most of the growth came from the firm's flagship coffee chain, which increased sales by more than 25 per cent if new outlets are included.

But there was also strong growth at the firm's Premier Inn division, where total room nights sold increasing by 11 per cent to 3.3m in the quarter.

"Our consistent investment in product quality and customer experience has helped our strong brands to outperform their competitors," said chief executive Andy Harrison.

Reiterating his firm's previously announced expansion plans, he added: "Our plans for profitable growth are well established, supported by our strong balance sheet, and we plan to open 4,200 Premier Inn rooms, eight joint site restaurants and 350 new Costa stores this financial year, creating an additional 3,500 UK jobs."