The high street coffee chain, part of the Whitbread group, also saw a 5.8% rise in like-for-like sales in UK equity stores during the same period, with transactions up 6.1%. It delivered positive trading results last year, as total system sales grew by 24.6% to £786m and franchise sales received a 19.3% boost, taking its total to £320m.
In the 11-week period to 16 February 2012, the group also reported a 6.2% increase in UK like-for-like sales for the Costa brand, with total sales up 24.4%.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “Costa has delivered excellent results this year, with total sales increasing by 25%, driven by good like-for-like sales growth and record new store openings of 359 stores – 306 net total after closures. This includes 71 new stores in China, bringing our presence there to 163 stores.
“We are approaching the first anniversary of the acquisition of Coffee Nation and the launch of Costa Express. We have been very pleased by the positive customer reaction and our growth plans for this business are ahead of our original expectations.”
Costa opened 359 new outlets during this period, with almost half (177) opening in the UK and 182 stores internationally in locations such as India and China. It also reported a total of 919 UK Costa Express units, with the company continuing to rebrand a remaining 253 existing Coffee Nation units.
Speaking of the group’s overall trading performance, Harrison added: "Whitbread has delivered good total sales growth of 11% for the year in difficult economic conditions, as we continue to invest in our strong brands. We expect to report in April another full year of double-digit earnings growth, in line with expectations.”