Whitbread on an expansion spree

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Whitbread, UK’s largest hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator is on an expansion spree. The FTSE-100 company, after reporting a 12 per cent rise in this financial year,  is looking forward to expand their presence in other parts of UK and the global market.

Shares of Whitbread, rose at 4 per cent in London on Tuesday morning. Alison Brittain, who replaced previous CEO Andy Harrison in January, supported her for Whitbread’s earlier 2020 milestones which accounts for 85,000 Premier Inn UK rooms and around 2.5 billion pounds ($3.64 billion) systems sales for Costa.

Whitbread, to finance on demand, increased its expansion targets last year for both businesses to enable a greater exposure in London. It would have a key focus on the Premier Inn and overseas sales at Costa. The chain has more than 3,000 outlets all over the world and around 2,000 in the UK.

“We are all very clear that Whitbread has been a great owner of Costa and given that track record and our future plans, there’s no compelling reason to change Costa’s ownership structure at this time,” Alison Brittain told Reuters in a conference call.

Total sales of Whitbread at Premier Inn has grown at 12.9 per cent by March 3. Their group sales rose at 12 per cent. Total sales of Costa Coffee at 15.9 per cent shows a 2.9 per cent increase in the UK like-for-like sales. Even after all these figures, their CEO believes that UK coffee drinking market is yet to reach its peak and there is lot more to achieve.

“From a structural perspective, there is more (coffee) consumption to do,” Brittain was quoted by Reuters as saying.

By 0923 GMT, Whitbread has shared the trade figures as 1.5 per cent at 3923 pence, it had attained a figure 4027.28 pence earlier.

The Company
Headquartered in Dunstable, UK, Whitbread PLC is a multinational hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company . Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with around 650 hotels and over 50,000 rooms. It owns the famous Costa Coffee chain, which has 3,080 shops in more than 30 countries and is the world’s second largest international coffee shop chain. Whitbread’s other brands include the restaurant chains Beefeater Grill, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.

The Inception
The story of Whitbread begins in August 1720 with the birth of Samuel Whitbread, who began his brewing apprenticeship in 1736, then founded his first brewery six years later. In 1750 Samuel Whitbread created the first purpose-built mass-production brewery in the UK. He then moved his brewing operations to Chiswell Street on the eastern rim of Georgian London. Over the following years, Whitbread became a household name throughout the country.

In 2001 Whitbread became the company it is today. They sold their breweries and left the pub and bar business, refocusing on the growth areas of hotels and restaurants. Their reinvention as the UK’s leading hospitality business naturally coincided with the ending of the country’s brewing and pub-owning tradition, started by Samuel Whitbread over 250 years earlier. Now UK’s biggest hospitality company, they have got the UK’s no. 1 hotel brand, Premier Inn and the no.1 coffee shop brand, Costa. They also have a chain of much-loved restaurants, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater Grill, Table Table and Taybarns.

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