Whitbread share price tumbles as Costa Coffee owner flags ‘tougher consumer environment’
Shares in Whitbread (LON:WTB) have lost more than five percent in London this morning, as the group flagged ‘tougher consumer environment’ going forward. The Costa Coffee and Premiere Inn owner, however, posted a rise in sales and hiked its payout to shareholders.
As of 08:22 BST, Whitbread’s share price had lost 5.62 percent to 4,065.00p, underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and standing 0.13 percent higher at 7,274.06 points. The group’s shares have gained nearly six percent over the past year, and are up by some eight percent in the year-to-date.
Whitbread announced in a statement this morning that its total sales had grown 8.2 percent in the 52 weeks to March 2, while its profit before tax had come in 5.7 percent higher at £515.4 million. The Financial Times noted in its coverage of the news that the figure had fallen short of a consensus estimate of £557 million among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
The Costa Coffee owner meanwhile reported 3.3-percent growth in underlying earnings per share and hiked its full-year dividend by six percent to 95.80p.
Whitbread’s chief executive Alison Brittain commented in the statement that its Premier Inn business had seen a good start to the new financial year and that Costa had also seen positive like-for-like sales growth, while noting that the group remained “cautious and expect a tougher consumer environment than last year”.
“In the longer term we remain confident that, with our significant structural growth opportunities, the power of our brands and the investments we are making, we will continue to deliver strong returns and sustainable long-term growth for our shareholders,” she added.
As of 08:57 BST, Tuesday, 25 April, Whitbread plc share price is 4,021.62p.