Like-for-like sales (LFLs) increased by 4.5% in the 13 weeks to 29 May, Costa Coffee revealed this morning.

The Whitbread owned BB75 retailer said total sales at the coffee brand had also increased by 15.9% during the same period.

Andy Harrison, chief executive, unveiling the figures at Whitbread’s AGM, said increase at Costa was “underpinned by strong customer demand”.

He added: “Whitbread is well positioned for another good year with our strong brands continuing to win market share, reinforced by ambitious organic network expansion.”

The growth was welcomed by the City. Analyst Karl Burns of Panmure Gordon upgraded Whitbread stock from sell to hold and increased the target price to 4,046p. He added: “With economic recovery in the regions beginning to accelerate we feel Whitbread is ideally placed to benefit from this.”