Premier Inn owner Whitbread is back in the black after posting a £307.4m profit before tax, in better than expected first half results.
The interim results marked better fortunes for the hospitality operator, which last year posted a 19.3m loss.
However, the firm said it had not seen its pub business return to pre-pandemic levels just yet and warned of inflation nearing 11 per cent.
Inflationary pressures across a range of costs are expected to add an extra £60m bill to the hospitality giant in the 2023 financial year.
In the UK, the firm’s budget hotel brand Premier Inn has seen “robust demand” despite economic turmoil, with positive forward bookings and momentum in the third quarter.
Trading has remained “challenging” for the group’s pub brands Brewers Fayre and Beefeater, with food and drink sales lagging behind pre-pandemic comparatives.
While Whitbread said it had launched a series of initiatives to return sales to pre-pandemic levels, it warned this was “unlikely to be achieved in the current financial year.”
Total revenues shot up 25 per cent compared to the first half of 2020, before the pandemic, with sales reaching £1.35bn.
The chain was “well on the way” to replicating its success as becoming the UK’s “number one hotel chain” in Germany, according to Whitbread chief executive officer Alison Brittain.