Whitbread share price: Group issues Q1 trading udate
Whitbread (LON:WTB), the UK’s largest hospitality group, today reported its trading performance for the 13 weeks to 28 May 2015.
**Highlights from the company’s statement:**
Hotels and Restaurants
Premier Inn has continued to win UK market share growing total sales*2 for the 13 weeks by 14.3%, like for like sales by 6.3%, total revpar by 6.1% and total room nights sold by 8.1% to 4.3 million. Total occupancy at 80.6% was down (0.1%) pt and the number of rooms available increased by 8.2%; In London Premier Inn grew total sales by 21.6%, with a 23.2% increase in rooms available and total occupancy up 0.1% pt at 86.2%. Total revpar was down (1.0%) compared to a decline in the total market*3 revpar of (1.7%). The Midscale and Economy*3 London competitive set grew total revpar by 3.1%; In the regions the market continued to recover and Premier Inn grew total sales by 12.3% and total revpar by 6.4% with a 6.2% increase in rooms available. Occupancy was down (0.3%) pts at 79.7%. For the regional hotel market*3 total revpar grew 6.9% and was up 9.7% for the Midscale and Economy*3 sector; Restaurants delivered total sales growth of 1.6% and like for like sales growth of 0.1% in the first quarter, slightly ahead of a soft pub restaurant market outside the M25.; 333 UK rooms were opened in the quarter and, for the full year, we plan to open around 5,500 UK rooms.
Costa had a good start to the year, growing total system sales by 15.9% to £375.2 million, (15.7% at constant currency). Within this, franchise system sales grew by 13.5% to £143.6 million; UK Retail continued its strong momentum with equity stores delivering like for like sales growth of 5.0% driven by transaction growth of 4.4%. We opened 37 net new UK stores in the quarter; Costa Enterprises continued its success with the installation of a further 171 Costa Express machines taking the total to 4,463; International system sales grew by 15.1% to £80.6 million (14.1% at constant currency). Eight net new stores were opened in the period with five in EMEI and three in Asia. In May we acquired the Costa franchise business in Singapore, where we now have nine equity stores; Costa plans to open around 250 net new stores and 700-800 net Costa Express machines in the full year.
The Group strengthened its funding position by issuing a £450 million 3.375% bond due in 2025. This, together with our existing facilities and strong operating cash flow, will support the delivery of our 2020 milestones and reinforces the strong financial position of the Group. As announced at our Annual Results on 28 April our capital investment for this year is expected to be around £700 million.
**More to follow…**
As of 07:10 BST, Tuesday, 16 June, Whitbread plc share price is 5,040.00p.
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