Whitbread has revealed Costa Coffee’s underlying profits have risen by almost 30% to £36.1m in its half-year results.

Announced this morning as part of the group’s financial results for the six months to 30 August 2012, total sales at the coffee shop brand rose by 25% and UK like-for-like sales saw a 6.8% lift.

Whitbread also delivered a total revenue of £1.018bn for the six-month period, a 14.2% increase from £891.3m in 2011/12, as well as a 4.3% growth in like-for-like sales and a 10.6% rise in underlying profit before tax to £193.4m – up from £174.9m.

Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “Whitbread delivered a strong first-half performance, with total sales growth of 14.2% and underlying earnings per share growth of 13.1%, driven by our outperformance in a broadly flat market.

“Costa’s growth is supported by its leading UK position in a robust category, together with exciting international opportunities. This growth in total sales, coupled with our clear focus on good financial returns, is creating substantial value.”

The company said it opened 141 net new Costa Coffee outlets during the period, taking its total store count to 2,344 – a total increase of 6.4% from 2011/12.

Whitbread also announced that it created 1,500 new UK jobs throughout its brands, with 10,000 expected over the next three years.

Anthony Habgood, chairman of Whitbread, said: “Whitbread is continuing on its rapid profitable organic growth path in difficult economic conditions. This is due to our unrelenting customer focus and the use of our strong balance sheet to invest in building powerful brands, developing our people and renewing our estate.”