Whitbread profit up 43 per cent

Whitbread profit jumped by 28 per cent to £151m in the six months to September.

The company said an expansion at its Premier Inns and Costa Coffee businesses fuelled the figures.

Revenue rose 14.5 per cent to £805m.

Whitbread raised its interim dividend by 17 per cent to 11.25p.

Costa has just over 1,100 in the UK – and plans to take the total to 1,850 by the end of the year.

Whitbread also plans to expand its Premier Inn hotel chain, and open at least 1,700 rooms in 18 hotels across the UK.

It says its advertising campaign, fronted by the comedian Lenny Henry, promoting its £29 a room offer helped to boost like-for-like sales by 10.1 per cent.

In London, a rise in the number of tourists over the summer boosted the business.

Chief executive Alan Parker: "People want value for money and Whitbread is benefiting from these times of austerity.

"In London the number of tourists over the summer helped us."