Premier Inn boosts Whitbread profits
Premier Inn and Costa coffee owner Whitbread saw sales lift as its budget hotel chain added more than 300 rooms in the first three months of its year.
Whitbread said its Premier Inn hotels, promoted by adverts featuring newly-knighted comedian Lenny Henry, added 333 rooms in the 13 weeks to May 28 which helped it lift group sales by 12.5%.
It added sales at the national hotel business were up 14.3% over the period, driven by a combination of strong like-for-like sales growth of 6.3% and an 8.2% increase in rooms available. Occupancy also remained high at 80.6%.
Whitbread said Costa had "another excellent quarter" with sales jumping 17.2%, backed by 5% growth in like-for-like sales as it won more customers. The group also brought forward the start date of its first female chief executive Alison Brittain to this year, from next February.