Customer Behaviour

Rising sales at the Costa Coffee chain have helped to boost trading at parent company Whitbread. Like-for-like sales at Costa, which strip out the impact of new stores, rose 2.6% in the 13 weeks to 2 June.

It helped to lift like-for-like sales across the Whitbread group – which includes Premier Inn hotels – by 1.8%.

Whitbread said Premier Inn gained market share despite a “weaker than expected” hotel market, particularly in London. Like-for-like sales at Premier Inn were up 2.1% over the period.

Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: “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 company said it remained on target to open between 230-250 Costa Coffee stores worldwide and to provide an extra 4,000-4,500 new hotel rooms in 2016-17.

Revenue per room available – an indicator of financial performance in the hospitality sector – at Premier Inn fell by 0.5% on a like-for-like basis, and was down 1.2% overall.

The company said this reflected the “soft” market environment and the “dilution” effects of adding 3,600 new rooms in the final quarter of last year.

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