CORRECTED-Whitbread to raise $1.2 bln to weather COVID-19 crisis as profit drops

(Corrects to remove reference to 28.4% in first paragraph, corrects profit numbers in third paragraph)

May 21 (Reuters) - Premier Inn owner Whitbread on Thursday set out plans to raise 1.01 billion pounds ($1.23 billion) through a rights issue as it looks to bolster its balance sheet amid the coronavirus crisis, which caused a plunge in annual earnings.

Through the rights issue, Whitbread is proposing to offer one new share for every two existing shares.

The company also said adjusted pretax profit dropped to 358 million pounds for the year ended Feb. 27 from 390 million pounds a year earlier. ($1 = 0.8201 pounds) (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)