Premier Inn grabs market share despite 'soft' London market

Premier Inn grabs market share despite 'soft' London market

Premier Inn lifted sales by 11.1% in the year to February as the budget chain continued to win UK market share.

Like-for-like sales rose by 4.4% as revenue per available room (revpar) went up by 3.6% and the number of available rooms by 7.6%.

Total occupancy remained high at 81.1%, in line with the previous year, and total room nights sold increased by 7.4% to 17 million.

Sales grew by 7.3% in the quarter to February 11, driven by a 6.9% increase in the number of rooms available, and occupancy increasing by 0.3% points to 71.4%.

Like-for-like sales grew by 2.2%, ahead of revpar growth of 0.4%, due to a “substantial extensions” programme.

Parent company Whitbread said in a trading update this morning: “Following the trend we highlighted in December, the market has continued to show a divergence in performance in the quarter between the regional and London hotel markets.

“In the regions, Premier Inn grew total sales by 8.3%, with a 6.8% increase in rooms available, including 2% from extensions. 

“Total and like for like revpar grew by 1.5% and 1.4% respectively. Our regional occupancy remained high compared to the market at 70.6%, up 0.5% points year-on-year.

“Total regional market revpar grew by 3.4% and the midscale and economy sector grew total revpar by 4.5%.”

Premier Inn grew total sales in London by 3.6% in the quarter despite a “softer” hotel market, with an 8% increase in rooms available.

Total London revpar and occupancy declined, broadly in line with the market, by 3.6% and 1.5% points respectively although occupancy remained high at 76.1%.

This came as the total London market revpar declined by 3.3% and revpar for the midscale and economy sector was down 2.2%.

The company plans to open around 5,500 new UK Premier Inn rooms this year, including 1,500 rooms from extensions, and a further 5,000 new rooms in 2017.

Alison Brittain, chief executive of Whitbread, which also runs the Costa coffee chain, said: "Whitbread has had another good trading period, delivering year to date total sales growth of 10.4% and like for like sales growth of 3.2%. We expect to report full year profit in line with expectations.

“In the quarter, Premier Inn had a good performance growing total sales by 7.3% with occupancy rising by 0.3% points to 71.4% and rooms available increasing by 6.9%.

“Like for like sales grew by 2.2%, which is ahead of our like for like revpar growth at 0.4%, as we benefitted from our substantial, higher returning, hotel extensions programme.

“Costa had good total sales growth of 10.5% and like for like sales growth of 0.5% reflecting lower footfall on the high street and an unusually warm winter.

“In the year ahead, as we build towards our growth milestones, we will continue to invest in improving our customer propositions, our digital and IT capabilities and in our winning teams to ensure we maintain our market leading positions.

“This will deliver long-term profitable growth and sustainable returns for our shareholders."


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