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Whitbread 11-week Sales Rise - Update

British hotel and restaurant group Whitbread Plc (WTB.L) Tuesday reported a rise in total sales and like-for-like sales for the 11-week period ended February 14, and said it remains on track to deliver fiscal year results in line with its expectations.

In a trading update, the company said its total sales for the period grew 16.9 percent from last year. Like for like sales improved 2.7 percent in the period. Whitbread said its headline like-for-like sales growth was slightly suppressed by adverse weather conditions in January, which had particularly affected restaurants business.

Total sales for the 50-week period to February 14, increased 14.8 percent, and like for like sales growth was 3.7 percent.

Andy Harrison, chief executive of the company stated, "For the financial year to date, Whitbread has again delivered outstanding organic growth in a flat consumer market, growing total sales by 14.8%. Our strong brands continue to win market share, supported by our highest ever guest satisfaction scores and rapid expansion of our network."

Premier Inn brand sales growth for the 11-week period was 14.1 percent, with like-for-like sales growth of 2.9 percent. Restaurant business like-for-like sales improved 0.2 percent. Costa brand sales climbed 32.2 percent and UK like-for-like equity store sales were up 5.5 percent from last year. Costa grew total system sales in the 50-week period by 22.4 percent to 962 million pounds.

Year to date, Premier Inn like-for-like revenue per available room or RevPAR, a performance metric in hotel industry, grew by 1.6 percent, with 1.1 percentage points rise in occupancy to 77.4 percent. Rate improved 0.1 percent.

Looking ahead, Whitbread said it is on track to achieve its 2016 growth milestones, but expects a more competitive environment.

WTB.L is currently trading at 2,483 pence, down 80 pence or 3.12 percent, on a volume of 556,699 shares on the LSE.

by RTT Staff Writer

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