Costa Coffee and Premier Inn boost Whitbread's profits
Costa Coffee owner Whitbread has announced that underlying annual pre-tax profits rose 11.9% to £546.3m, driven by strong growth at the coffee chain and its Premier Inn hotels business.
Operating profit at Costa rose 15.8% to £153.5m on turnover of £1.6bn.
Sales across Whitbread - which has seven Premier Inn hotels in Northern Ireland - grew 12% to £2.9bn.
Costa is run as a franchise in Northern Ireland, with around 20 shops.
Chief executive Alison Brittain said she would now turn her attention to growing the business further, targeting around £2.5bn of sales at Costa by 2020 and ramping up expansion at Premier Inn.
She said: "Both Premier Inn and Costa benefit from attractive market growth opportunities and we will continue to capitalise on these by developing our network and brand strength as we fulfil our ambitions to reach circa 85,000 UK hotel rooms."