Costa sales growth slows amid warmer weather

THE hot summer hit sales growth at Whitbread’s Costa coffee chain, the company admitted yesterday.

Whitbread revealed that Costa’s same-floorspace sales growth in the 11 weeks to mid-August more than halved to 3 per cent from 8 per cent in the March to May quarter when Britain had its coldest spring since 1962.

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Andy Harrison, group chief executive, said: “July this year was an absolute scorcher whereas July 2012 was very wet and cool. When it is that hot people want a cold drink rather than a hot coffee.”

The group, which also owns the Premier Inn hotel chain and Beefeater restaurants, said its total sales surged 10.8 per cent in the latest quarter as it opened more stores, hotels and restaurants.