Tourists flocking to London for the King’s coronation helped bolster Premier Inn owner Whitbread’s trading in the first leg of the year, as the hotel group revealed an 18 per cent hike in sales.
As Brits embraced travel and leisure after the pandemic, the chain of affordable hotels said sales across its 800 strong portfolio reached £492.8m a steady rise from £371.9m in the last quarter.
The hotel chain said demand was “particularly strong” in London, likely linked to King’s Coronation in May, leading to a 81.2 per cent hike in occupancy across its portfolio in the capital up from 76.8 per cent in the previous term.
Whitbread, which owns restaurants Beefeater and Bar+Block, also recorded a 10 per cent increase in food and beverage sales, despite noting that trading at the value end of the pub restaurant market “remains challenging”.
It comes as the group has been reportedly eyeing a multi-million pound sale of circa 250 sites out of its 800 strong pub and restaurant estate, with sources telling The Times that food and beverage giant Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), is the frontrunner to snapping up the sites.
Whitbread did not acknowledge these claims in its trading update, however said it is continuing to “explore a variety of options to optimise our F&B offer whilst maintaining a quality experience for our Premier Inn guests”.
“Our business is in great shape and trading well. Given the lack of branded supply growth and permanent decline in the independent sector, I am confident that our business model will continue to deliver as we strengthen Premier Inn’s position in the UK, unlock our potential in Germany and maximise long-term returns for our shareholders,” Dominic Paul, chief executive said.
City A.M has contacted Whitbread for a comment.