Costa Coffee continues to boost parent company Whitbread as the group reported a 4.3% rise in like-for-like (LFL) sales, according to the latest figures.

Published in the group’s interim management statement for the 13 weeks to 28 November 2013, Costa itself experienced a 4.9% increase in LFL sales. Total year-to-date sales for the coffee chain were up 20.4%.

Total sales for Whitbread in the 13-week period to 28 November grew by 13.8%.

Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said that today’s results were “driven by the strength” of Premier Inn and Costa, keeping the group on track to deliver full-year results in line with expectations.

“For the year to date, we have grown our total sales by 13%, driven primarily by the continuing expansion of our Premier Inn and Costa networks,” he said. “Costa’s total sales have grown by 20.8% with the opening of 246 net new stores worldwide, including 133 in the UK and 54 in China, bringing our total number of stores to 2,773.”

In its trading highlights, the group said that Costa continued to perform strongly, growing total system sales in the 39 weeks by 19.4% to £882m. Within this franchise, sales were up 17.3% to £347m.

UK Retail system sales grew by 17.2% to £473.5m, with equity stores delivering LFL sales growth of 5.3%.

While the Middle East was reported as continuing to deliver a solid performance, trading in central and southern Europe “remained difficult”. Two new equity stores were opening Paris, building on the two franchised stores in France.

Whitbread added that it planned to open around 300 net new stores worldwide and to install around 850 Costa Express units in the full year.

Last month it was reported that Whitbread PLC was looking for a new chairman.