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Whitbread share price subdued as investors digest Q1 update

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Whitbread’s share price (LON:WTB) has fallen into the red in today’s session as the Premier Inn owner posted its first-quarter results, revealing negative sales growth. The company, which sold its Costa Coffee business to The Coca Cola Group in January, further sounded a note of caution going forward.

As of 09:43 BST, Whitbread’s share price had given up 0.63 percent to 4,570.00p, underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.29 percent lower at 7,421.28 points. The group’s shares have added nearly 13 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.4-percent fall in the Footsie.

Whitbread posts Q1 results

Whitbread announced in a statement today that its UK total accommodation sales had declined 1.5 percent in the first quarter of its financial year, due to weak trading conditions. Total UK and international sales growth meanwhile came in one percent lower.

“We have delivered a resilient performance in the first quarter despite more challenging market conditions and we continue to make good progress with our efficiency programme, which is helping to partially offset another year of high industry cost inflation,” Whitbread’s chief executive Alison Brittain said in the statement, adding that its expansion into German was ‘firmly on target’.

“Whilst we are cautious about short-term market conditions, we are confident in our plans given the significant growth opportunities in the UK and internationally,” she pointed out.

The update comes after it emerged last month that the company was again facing investor pressure.

Analysts on Premier Inn owner

The 17 analysts offering 12-month targets for the Whitbread share price for the Financial Times have a median target of 4,800.00p, with a high estimate of 5,750.00p and a low estimate of 2,000.00p. As of June 14, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the Premier Inn owner advises investors to hold their position in the company.

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