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Costa Coffee recovery helps owner's results

By Holly Williams

Published 22/06/2016

There are 20 Costa Coffee outlets in Northern Ireland run on a franchise basis, as well as seven Premier Inn hotels
There are 20 Costa Coffee outlets in Northern Ireland run on a franchise basis, as well as seven Premier Inn hotels

Premier Inn owner Whitbread has seen sales at Costa Coffee bounce back, but conditions remain difficult for its hotels and restaurants.

The group cheered a “good start” to the financial year for the coffee chain as it posted a 2.6% rise in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to June 2, marking a recovery after sales were hit in the previous quarter.

There are 20 Costa Coffee outlets in Northern Ireland run on a franchise basis, as well as seven Premier Inn hotels

Whitbread said Premier Inn like-for-like sales lifted by 2.1% in a “weaker-than-expected hotel market”, while comparable sales edged 0.2% higher across its restaurant brands Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns. 

Like-for-like sales across the group rose 1.8%, while total sales were 8% higher.

Alison Brittain, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “Costa has started the year well and Premier Inn continues to win share, albeit in a weaker-than-expected hotel market.

“Although it is early in our new financial year, and despite current market conditions, with the benefit of our cost-efficiency programme we remain confident of making good progress for the full year.”

The Costa performance comes after sales growth slowed sharply to 0.5% at the end of its previous financial year and helped offset a tougher hotels market.

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