Whitbread Scores Olympic Success

Whitbread sees brands outperform in "tough economic climate."

Sam Robson
Sam Robson
Sep 7, 2012 at 12:00AM
Other

LONDON -- Whitbread (LSE: WTB.L), the U.K.'s largest hotel and restaurant group, saw total sales increase 14.8% in its second quarter, according to a trading update released this morning.

Shares in the FTSE 100 company -- which counts the Costa chain of coffee shops and Premier Inn hotels among its brands -- were up 123 pence from the market's closing price of 2,099 pence at the time of writing, an increase of almost 6% to 2,222 pence.

Chief executive Andy Harrison said: "As expected, the Olympics provided a modest benefit, primarily through increased room rate, with occupancy slightly down on last year." He also stated that the company's brands had "outperformed in a tough economic climate," citing like-for-like sales growth of 4.2%

Much of the group's boost from the Olympic period had been priced in to Whitbread long before the Games began -- but the company continues to look for ways to expand, with a first Costa opened in Singapore during the quarter, and a further 12 stores in China, taking the total number of stores in Asia to 199.

Whitbread isn't a group that has gone unnoticed by our Foolish experts, with David O'Hara pointing out the fact that sales are up over 50% in the last five years, and Maynard Paton highlighting its near-40% increase in 2012 so far.

Find out what other shares our top analysts here at the Fool have backed, by downloading a copy of our special report "Top Sectors for 2012" -- it's absolutely free, will be delivered to your inbox immediately, and highlights our choice sectors. What are you waiting for? Click here now to avoid missing out!

If you're keen to earn superior stock market returns, this free Motley Fool report -- "10 Steps to Making a Million in the Market" -- could help you on your way. The report highlights how choppy markets can still provide the big winners to take you to that magic million.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities: