Costa boosts Whitbread performance

Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee has boosted the group’s overall Q1 performance for the 13 weeks to 2 June 2016, with total sales at the high street coffee chain up 11.5% to £414.3m and retail like-for-like (LFL) sales increasing by 2.6%.

Within this, Costa’s UK retail system sales rose by 11.4% to £226.5m, with equity stores growing LFL sales by 2.6%. The company opened 35 new Costa stores in the UK in the period, to reach 2,069 outlets (retail and enterprise).

In a conference call with the industry, chief executive Alison Brittain said that Costa “had a good start to the year, with a good performance across our travel concession and drive-thru channels”. She added that core brands such as Costa and Premier Inn gave the company “tremendous resilience in times of uncertainty”.

Speaking further on Costa, she said the coffee chain was “innovating to a change in customer tastes”, including testing finer coffee concepts as well as single-origin brands and catering to the health-conscious with new SuperDay smoothies. While “mindful of the EU referendum in two days’ time”, she said the company remained “confident of maintaining strong progress for the full year”.

Overall sales for the Whitbread group were up 8%, with LFL sales rising by 1.8%.

The company said it remained on plan to open 230-250 new Costa stores globally this year, as well as installing at least 1,250 new Costa Express machines this year.

Last month Costa announced it will now accept payment with the Android Pay app at participating stores. 

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