Costa helps boost profits at Whitbread
Costa increased its underlying profits by 20.5% to £43.5 million in the first half of its financial year with total sales rising by 20.9% as trade was boosted by a strong store opening programme.
In the six months ended 29 August 2013, total worldwide system sales climbed 19.5% to £569.2 million.
In the UK, total retail sales were up 15.8% with 5.5% growth in like-for-like sales which was mainly the result of a 5.1% rise in transactions.
The growth in store numbers means that Costa now operates a total 1,664 outlets in the UK, over 800 more than its closest competitor. The coffee chain also benefited from product innovation in the period with the new Costa Ice range representing 33% of sales during the July heatwave.
International sales also performed well with 52.9% growth in systems sales in Asia and 10.2% growth in EMEI. During the first half, Costa opened 30 net new stores in China taking the total in the country to 283.
Across the group, Whitbread increased its revenue year-on-year by 12.4% to £1.14 billion due to a combination of like-for-like growth of 2.8% and the opening of new units. Underlying pre-tax profit was up 12.6% to £216.1 million.
Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said: “This good first half performance puts us on track to deliver this year's business plan and we remain on the right trajectory for our 2016 and 2018 growth milestones. Our combination of strong organic growth, good returns on capital and strong cash flow should continue to create substantial shareholder value."
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