costa coffee
Costa Coffee boosted headline sales at Whitbread iStock

The Whitbread Group, owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, has posted like-for-like sales growth – which outstrips the impact of new sales points – of 1.8% in the 13 weeks to 2 June.

Giving details on Tuesday (21 June), the group said like-for-like sales at Costa coffee rose 2.6% over the said period, while Premier Inn posted sales growth of 2.1%.

However, Premier Inn's revenue per room available fell by 0.5% on a like-for-like basis, and was down 1.2% overall. Whitbread attributed this to a "soft market environment" and the fact that it had added 3,600 new rooms over the fourth quarter of its last financial year.

The group said it remained on target to open between 230-250 Costa Coffee stores worldwide and to provide an extra 4,000-4,500 new hotel rooms in 2016-17.

Chief executive Alison Brittain said: "Although it is early in our new financial year and despite current market conditions, with the benefit of our cost efficiency programme we remain confident of making good progress for the full year."

Steve Clayton, head of equity research, Hargreaves Lansdown, opined that despite the uncertainties surrounding the EU referendum, which can hardly have been boosting business, Whitbread reported "solid figures."

"With some analysts having made bearish calls on the outlook for the hotels business lately, the market took some reassurance from today's statement and the shares pushed 3% higher in early trading," he added.