WHITBREAD has said sales at Costa Coffee were dented in the first quarter by Britain’s high-street woes, adding that it is making “good progress” in preparing for the chain to be demerged.
Comparable sales at Costa fell by two per cent in the UK in the period, dragging down group like-for-like figures at Whitbread, which came in 1.3% lower.
Total sales at Whitbread, including international, rose 3.2%, and 4.9% at Costa.
Revenue at Whitbread’s hotels chain, Premier Inn, was up 2.2% over the quarter.
Boss Alison Brittain said: “Both the budget hotel market and the coffee market present long-term structural growth opportunities, and, while we are cautious of shorter-term trading conditions in the UK, due to well-publicised consumer trends, we are confident that we have the right strategies in place to enhance our UK and international market positions and ensure each business is well-positioned to thrive as a separate entity.”
The coffee shop to hotels firm said earlier this year that it will split the Costa chain and list it as a separate entity, following pressure from activist investor Elliott.
But it has since emerged that Costa is being circled by a clutch of private equity firms, opening the door to a potential £3 billion sale of the chain.
Under the de-merger plan, Premier Inn would stay with the group.
CREDIT: By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor
Copyright Newsquest (Herald &Times) Ltd Jun 28, 2018