Hit by ‘tough’ environment on the British high street
Whitbread, the owner of Britain’s biggest coffee chain Costa Coffee and budget hotel chain Premier Inn, saw third quarter sales growth slowed in the UK amid tough market conditions.
The FTSE 100 group’s like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 30 November rose just 0.3 per cent, compared to a 1.7 per cent hike the same period in 2016.
Meanwhile, the like-for-like sales grew 0.5 per cent at Premier Inn in the third quarter while Costa Coffee saw a fall in sales at its high street stores with comparable sales 0.1 per cent lower than in the same period in 2016. Costa Express machines though fared better with 6.7 per cent sales growth.
Whitbread chief executive Alison Brittain said: “We remain committed to delivering our strategy to invest in the attractive structural growth opportunities in the budget hotel market and the growing coffee markets, in both the UK and internationally.”
“We do expect the tough UK high street environment and inflation in our sector to continue to pose challenges in the year ahead. However, we have good momentum in the delivery of our plan to enhance our UK market leadership positions, create an international business of scale in Germany, China and Costa Express, and develop a more efficient infrastructure. This will create further customer loyalty and deliver long-term growth in earnings and dividends and a strong return on capital.”