Costa Coffee is still seeing sales growth despite “harsh economic conditions”, announced parent company Whitbread yesterday.

The coffee chain saw sales rise by 18.5% for the 13 weeks to 28 May 2009 and a 2.6% increase in like-for-like sales.

The company said Costa has delivered “a market-leading sales performance”, and has benefited from its marketing campaign – ‘7 out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa’.

Sales in its franchise units, both overseas and abroad, rose by 27% to £44m. It opened a net 49 UK stores in the quarter, bringing its UK total to 930.