Whitbread boosted by Premier Inn

Britain's biggest hotel operator Whitbread said it was confident for the full year after its budget Premier Inn chain saw a surge in demand from business customers and Costa Coffee delivered strong growth.

Whitbread, which also owns the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre pub restaurant chains, said comparable sales across the group were up by 7.9 percent in the 24 weeks to 19 Aug

Sales at Premier Inn hotels open for more than a year were up 10.7 per cent with revenue per available room increasing by 9.8 per cent.

Whitbread said its business account sales had increased by more than 20 per cent, while offers of rooms from £29 pounds per night had boosted trade at weekends and holiday periods.

So far this year the company has opened nine new hotels with a total of 795 rooms.

Meanwhile sales at Costa Coffee outlets open for more than a year were up by 8.3 per cent.

Chief executive Alan Parker said: “This strong performance across Whitbread is the result of our strategy to increase market share through organic expansion and driving like for like sales. We will continue to make progress in this “age of austerity” by relentlessly focusing on meeting the needs of our customers.”