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Whitbread Sales Rise, But Cautious on Outlook

Whitbread, Britain's biggest hotel and restaurants operator, said Tuesday that like-for-like sales across its businesses rose 7.1 percent in the 13 weeks to June 17.

The group, which operates the Premier Inn, Beefeater, and Costa Coffee chains, warned however, that it remains cautious should the consumer environment become more challenging.

Whitbread said like-for-like sales at its estate of over 500 Premier Inn hotels were up 10.7 percent. Revenue per available room increased by 6.2 percent with 8.3 percent more rooms sold due to hotel expansion.

At the pub restaurants, like-for-like sales rose by 3.6 percent. Chief Executive Alan Parker said food cost inflation has put pressure on gross margins.

The group has responded by reviewing menu prices and operating efficiencies and that has included the introduction of less expensive meal options, Parker said.

The group's 1,051 Costa Coffee shops saw comparable sale growth of 6 percent.

Total sales across the group rose by 14.6 percent.