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Coffee, Hotel Business Raises Whitbread Profit

Whitbread, the British owner of Premier Inn hotels, Costa Coffee shops and Beefeater pub restaurants, topped forecasts with a 13 percent rise in first-half profit and said its second half had started well.

The firm, which runs around 500 hotels, 400 restaurants and 600 coffee shops, said on Tuesday that profit before tax and one-off items was 99.4 million pounds ($203 million) from continuing operations in the 26 weeks to Aug. 30.

Forecasts ranged from 90.3 million to 94.7 million pounds, according to a Reuters poll of four analysts.

"The second half has started well. We are confident about the outcome for the full year," Chief Executive Alan Parker said in a statement.