Whitbread sales boosted by Costa Coffee and Premier Inn

coffee Whitbread plans to open 300 new Costa Coffee stores this year

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Whitbread has seen sales rise in the first half of the year, helped by strong performances at Costa Coffee and hotel chain Premier Inn.

The company, which also runs pub restaurants such as Brewers Fayre, said total sales rose 12.7% in the 13 weeks to 29 May.

Like-for-like sales, which exclude new store openings, rose 6.9%, with Premier Inn's up 9.5% and Costa Coffee sales seeing 4.5% growth.

Its shares were up 3% in early trading.

The company said it had also gained market share.

Whitbread boss Andy Harrison said it had "started the year well".

"Whitbread is well positioned for another good year, with our strong brands continuing to win market share," he added.

The group said its Premier Inn chain had benefited from a "buoyant hotel market" and "clearer signs of economic recovery in the UK regions".

Whitbread, which currently has 670 Premier Inn hotels in the UK, said it had 43 new ones under construction.

It also plans to open 300 new Costa Coffee stores this year, and opened 36 new UK stores in the first quarter.

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