Coffee chain Costa saw its like-for-like (LFL) sales surge ahead by 9.7% in the 11 weeks to 18 August 2011, it revealed this morning.

Costa was the star performer for parent company Whitbread – which also runs the budget hotel chain Premier Inn and a clutch of pub chains – as it also added that total sales were ahead by 28.8% for the period.

No breakdown was given for food sales at the chain.

The group, which has recently opened its 100th site in China, achieved sales of £351.3m and said that franchise sales had also improved by 16.5% to £146.5m.

It opened 145 stores during its second quarter and said it aimed to open 300 stores worldwide in 2011/2012. The company also said the integration of Coffee Nation was proceeding well, with 155 units now rebranded as Costa Express.

Andy Harrison, Whitbread’s chief executive, said that on the whole the group had traded “strongly” in its second quarter.

“We have traded well in the first 24 weeks as a whole. On a month-by-month basis, trading continues to be variable, with the second quarter benefiting from a stong June, while the first quarter was held back by a poor April. This variability is not surprising in the continuing uncertain economic environment,” Harrison added.

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