Belfast Telegraph

Whitbread takes 49% stake in healthy eating group Pure

Whitbread has gobbled up a 49% stake in London-based healthy eating chain Pure for £6.8 million.

Pure has eight shops in London's West End and the City and Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee, has said more sites are in the pipeline.

Alison Brittain, Whitbread chief executive, said: "It's vital that Whitbread has its finger on the pulse of consumer trends and that we innovate with new formats and concepts. I see considerable opportunities to grow the brand."

Pure operates a "grab and go and online delivery concept" specialising in healthy food, according to Whitbread.

Spencer Craig, founder and managing director of Pure, said: "We're growing fast and have plans to open more shops over the next three years. With Whitbread's backing and support we are looking forward to sharing our food with many more people and injecting further pace into building the Pure brand and expanding our network of shops."

Whitbread has the option to buy the remaining 51% stake within five years.

Last week Whitbread said that underlying pre-tax profits rose 11.9% to £546.3 million for the year, driven by strong growth at Costa and the Premier Inn hotels business.

At the time, Ms Brittain said she would turn her attention to growing the business further, targeting around £2.5 billion of sales at Costa by 2020 and ramping up expansion at Premier Inn.