Shares in Whitbread were up on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading ahead of the hospitality company's preliminary results, expected tomorrow.

In March the group said it expected full year results to be in line with expectations, after giving its fourth quarter results.

In the fourth quarter total sales rose 12.4 per cent. Like for like sales also increased 3.9 per cent, down from like for like sales growth of 6.3 per cent in the third quarter of the year, the cold weather in December being the most likely culprit for the slowdown.

Analysts are predicting that tomorrow's results will see a rise in sales of 12. 1 per cent to £1.6 billion, and a 37.2 per cent increase in pre-tax profit it to £285.5 million.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, "The group's new Chief Executive takes the stage. No major strategic company update is expected, whilst the group's progressive dividend policy could prove a highlight... Prior to the results, market consensus opinion currently denotes a buy."

By 16:25 shares in Whitbread were up 0.99 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 1,732.00 pence per share.