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Costa Coffee pushes up profits at Whitbread

Costa Coffee pushes up profits at Whitbread

Profits at Whitbread jumped by 43 per cent to £151m in the six months to September, following a surge in demand at the Costa Coffee chain.

Whitbread said Costa is now the second biggest coffee chain in the world, with a total of 1,700 outlets around the globe.

It presently operates a total of 1,100 outlets in the UK, with plans to boost the worldwide figure to 1,850 by the end of the year.

The chain has also continued to perform strongly, with pre-exceptional operating profits up 55.6 per cent over the period.

Like-for-like sales also increased by 8.5 per cent.

Costa has now recorded 34 consecutive quarters of like for like sales growth, largely driven by customer loyalty programmes and innovations in its product range.


Premier Inn

Profit growth at Whitbread was also helped by the fast-expansion of its hotels business, Premier Inn.

Sales at the chain were up 10.1 per cent over the six months, largely as a result of its advertising campaign, fronted by the comedian Lenny Henry, promoting its £29 a room offer.

Premier Inn opened 795 new rooms across nine hotels in the first half of the year.

Whitbread also plans to expand the chain, opening at least 1,700 rooms in 18 hotels across the UK.

Outgoing Whitbread chief executive, Alan Parker, said: “These results are testimony to the success of our initiatives to increase market share through organic network expansion and attracting more customers to our hotels, restaurants and coffee shops.

“Our margins have improved as the benefits of both our structural and operating cost reduction programmes are realised.

“I am delighted that our return on invested capital has increased to 13.1 per cent, well ahead of our cost of capital.”

Mr Parker will be replaced by Andy Harrison, who joined on September 1st, in November.