Costa and Premier Inn support profits at Whitbread

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Image caption Costa Coffee now has 1,755 shops across the UK

Whitbread has seen full year profits edge up 1% helped by strong sales at Costa Coffee and hotel chain Premier Inn.

Whitbread, which also runs pub restaurants such as Brewers Fayre, said pre-tax profit was £347m in the year to 27 February.

Underlying pre-tax profit rose 16.5%, excluding £38.5m in one-off costs.

Group revenue rose 13%, with total sales at Costa up 20.1% and at Premier Inn up 13.4% in the same period.

It opened 177 new UK Costa outlets in the year, taking the total to 1,755.

Whitbread said it expected to increase the number of UK stores to over 2,200 by 2018.

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Media captionWhitbread CEO Andy Harrison tells 5 live that overseas expansion is "very important"

It also opened 23 net new Premier Inn hotels in the period, giving it a total of 672 across the UK.

It said the number of rooms sold each night had risen to 78.1% over the period.

"I am confident that the brand strength of Premier Inn and Costa will continue to fuel the company's growth into the future," said Whitbread chairman Anthony Habgood.

The firm said that trading in the first two months of the new financial year had also started positively.

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