Costa Coffee sales perk up Whitbread as hotel market remains weak

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Premier Inn owner Whitbread has seen sales at Costa Coffee bounce back, but said conditions remain difficult for its hotels and restaurants.

The group cheered a "good start" to its financial year for the coffee chain as it posted a 2.6% rise in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to June 2, marking a recovery after sales were hit in the previous quarter.

It said Premier Inn like-for-like sales lifted by 2.1% in a "weaker-than-expected hotel market", while comparable sales edged 0.2% higher across its restaurant brands Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.

Like-for-like sales across the group rose 1.8%, while total sales were 8% higher.

Alison Brittain, chief executive of Whitbread, said: "Costa has started the year well and Premier Inn continues to win share, albeit in a weaker-than-expected hotel market.

"Although it is early in our new financial year, and despite current market conditions, with the benefit of our cost-efficiency programme we remain confident of making good progress for the full year."