Costa Coffee, the Whitbread-owned chain, has posted a rise in like-for-like (LFL) sales of 5.2% for the 13 weeks to 27 November as it plans rapid expansion.
For the 39 weeks to the same date Costa was up 5.8% with total LFLs for Whitbread as a whole up 6.7%. Total sales were down 13.2% over 13 weeks and 13% overall.
Costs was praised as performing ‘strongly’ with total system sales growing in the 39 weeks by 15.9% to £1,022m (17.5% at constant currency). Within this, franchise sales were up 14.7% to £398.1m.
Whitbread has opened 127 new stores in the year to date and there are plans to open a further 230 net new stores worldwide, as well as installing around 800 Costa Express units in the full year.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “As we said in our interim results on 21st October, our strong trading momentum has continued into the third quarter, with total sales growing by 13.2% and like for like sales up 6.0%. We remain confident of delivering full year results in line with expectations, mindful that the fourth quarter last year was particularly strong, boosted by the absence of snow.
“Our strong brands continue to win market share, reinforced by our ambitious organic network expansion. We remain on track to open around 4,500 new Premier Inn UK rooms and around 230 net new Costa stores worldwide this year. Our committed UK room pipeline stands at around 12,400 new rooms, with a number of attractive London freehold opportunities at various stages of negotiation.”