Whitbread posts strong third quarter sales rise

LONDON Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:16am EST

LONDON Dec 10 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest hotel and coffee shop operator Whitbread said it was on track to meet full-year expectations as it posted a strong rise in third quarter sales.

The group, which runs Premier Inn hotels, Costa Coffee and pub restaurants including Brewers Fayre, on Tuesday said group like-for-like sales rose 4.3 percent in the 13 weeks to Nov. 28, up from a 2.8 percent rise in the first six months of the year.

Total group sales grew 13.8 percent, driven by the continued expansion of its core Premier Inn and Costa chains.

Sales at UK Costa Coffee stores open over a year rose 4.9 percent in its third quarter, with total sales up 20.4 percent.

Like-for-like sales at its largest division, Premier Inn, rose 5.4 percent and 13.7 percent in total, while the group's restaurant business also improved, with underlying sales up 1.8 percent in the period.

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