Whitbread brews coffee profits

Costa is quickly becoming the rising star in the Whitbread group due to their new flat offering of a strong white coffee called the ‘flat white’ three weeks ago.  The group reported that sales grew for all three of their businesses- Premier Inn, Beefeater, and Costa- which are spread across the UK.

Across Britain there are 1,066 Costa shops and in total Whitbread has 1,500 shops with plans to double the size of the brand over the course of the next four years according to chief executive Alan Parker.  At least 1,500 of the new stores are planned for locations throughout the UK.

Parker is due to retire this coming November and some analysts believe that the person who takes his place may spin off Costa or sell it, but Parker pushed the issue aside as nonsense.

Premier Inn, the budget hotel chain, also saw strong sales last quarter due to a promotion that was headlined by Lenny Henry the comedian and offered rooms at £29 a month.  The growth in sales was significant given that the last several quarters the chain experienced a steady decline.

Parker referenced this fact noting that the 1.7% increase in the last quarter was raised due to the fact that comparables last year were weak.  Although revenue per room fell flat last quarter Parker still felt there was enough of a scope to make the expansion from 42,000 UK rooms to 70,000 UK rooms practical.

Also experiencing growth were the pub-restaurants owned by the chain with a total sales growth of three percent over the last quarter and total sales up by nine percent.