Travelodge sales grow 13pc

BUDGET hotel chain Travelodge is set to report a 13 per cent sales growth for last year, with a forecast for further expansion this year.

The chain will today announce like-for-like growth of six per cent, led by 11 per cent growth in London, and a total of 7.2m room sales, with 13m customers, up 12 per cent from the previous year.

Chief executive Guy Parsons said that, despite the impact this year of the VAT increase and fuel and energy price rises, 2011 trading is in line with management expectations and the firm was “confident on the longer term outlook”.

Parsons said: “Despite the tough climate in 2010, we have delivered a robust performance whilst continuing our strategic UK growth programme and demonstrating Travelodge’s continued strong recovery.

“We served record numbers of customers, grew total sales and opened 70 new hotels in excellent locations, targeting sites that would have been beyond our reach before the recession. The deal with Mitchells and Butlers, which saw us acquire 52 of their hotels, shows the innovative approach we have taken towards our aggressive growth plans.

“With a continued focus on driving growth this year, we have already opened four hotels and are currently building a further 36 hotels. We are creating 725 new jobs, and ensuring we are well on track to reach over 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025.”

Over the last five years Travelodge has focused on city centre growth in an effort to move away from roadside locations. Eighteen per cent of its rooms are now in London, with 62 per cent in major towns and cities and 20 per cent in the traditional motorway or roadside spots.

Travelodge, which has 450 hotels in the UK and 13 abroad, said 87 per cent of reservations were made at last year, with rates starting at £19.