Costa sales up driven by new store openings

31 August, 2007
Page 4 
Whitbread said its Costa business saw substantial sales increase driven by new store openings and a strong like-for-like performance, in a trading update this week.
The company, which also owns the budget Premier Inn hotel chain, said it had opened 76 UK Costa stores (or a net of 63 if closures were taken into account) this year to date, of which 27 were franchised.This month it opened its 600th UK Costa outlet in Wimbledon, London. Costa's overseas expansion also continued with 52 new stores opening (42 if closures were taken into account), bringing the total overseas estate to 217 outlets.Alan Parker, chief executive of Whitbread said total sales on continuing operations grew 11.3% over last year, while like-for-like sales rose by 6.6%.Whitbread also owns the Beefeater restaurant chain. It sold its David Lloyd leisure centre business for £925 million in June. The company will announce its interim results on 16 October.



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