July 2, 2018 / 3:57 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Whitbread to cut restaurant manager jobs in reorganisation

(Adds company’s response, background on Costa Coffee)

July 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s Whitbread Plc is planning to simplify the management teams in its restaurants business, resulting in a number of managers leaving the company, it said on Monday.

The Independent newspaper reported here that Whitbread was cutting at least 250 jobs as part of the restructuring of its restaurants business, which is held under the Premier Inn brand.

“We are consulting directly with the individuals impacted and will endeavour to find them alternative positions wherever possible,” Whitbread said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters, without disclosing how many jobs would be affected.

The news comes two months after Whitbread said it would spin off Costa Coffee, yielding to pressure from hedge funds, including activist investor Elliott, which said the coffee chain was being held back by being grouped with the Premier Inn hotel chain.

Whitbread said last week it had made “good progress” with Costa Coffee’s demerger and stuck to its forecast for the current year.

Whitbread employees were told about the redundancies on Monday, but were given no further detail, according to the newspaper report earlier in the day.

Costa, founded in London in 1971, has struggled over the last two years with higher inflation and low real wage growth in its home market. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)

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