Whitbread buoyed by Premier Inn and Costa

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Strong trading at hotel chain Premier Inn and coffee shop Costa has given parent company Whitbread a lift in the first quarter.

The group said like-for-like sales at Premier Inn grew 6.3 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 May, with Costa rising 5 per cent.

Overall, Whitbread’s sales were 4.3 per cent higher than the same period last year, and outgoing chief executive Andy Harrison said the firm’s trading in its new financial year was in line with expectations.

Harrison, who will be succeeded by Lloyds Banking Group retail boss Alison Brittain on 7 December, added: “Our leading brands continue to win market share as we invest in our people, our customer experience and our infrastructure.

“We are on track to deliver our ambitious growth milestones. This year we plan to open around 5,500 new Premier Inn UK rooms and around 250 net new Costa stores worldwide. Our committed UK pipeline has grown to 13,339 rooms and construction is underway on 42 new hotel sites as well as 19 hotel extensions.”