Premier Inn owner warns of drop in business customers outside London

Premier Inn owner Whitbread has said business customers using its hotels outside of London remains weak, although this was offset by a strong performance in the capital.

Sales at its UK hotels fell 1.3% in the 13 weeks to November 28, meaning they dropped 2.2% in the first nine months of the financial year.

Regional sales were down 2% – compared with a 1% fall for the sector more broadly – although this was helped by large tourist numbers boosting sales 4.8%.

Overall, when new rooms and hotels including its German division are included, sales rose 1% during the quarter.

The company said: “Despite the short-term economic uncertainty, there remains significant long-term opportunities for Premier Inn in both the UK and Germany.

“We can access these due to our strong financial position, resilient model and ongoing investment to improve our market-leading proposition.”

A further 50 hotels are planned for Germany, to add to the three opened in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich in the last year.