Costa helps boost Whitbread's profits
Whitbread has reported an 18.5% increase in first half pre-tax profit after growing demand at its Costa coffee shops helped boost sales.
The group's underlying profit before tax rose to £256 million in the six months to 28 August from £216.1 million last year. Group revenue rose by 13% to £1.3 billion.
Whitbread said its Costa chain delivered a strong performance with total sales up 16.9% and like-for-like sales in equity UK retail stores rising 6.1% in the period. Worldwide system sales climbed by 15.5%.
The group opened 85 net new Costa stores in the UK in the first half, taking the total number of stores to 1,840. It also launched a new range of coffee blends, invested in its store design, and built on its digital customer offering by launching its new Coffee Club app.
Costa’s underlying profit rose by 20.5% to £52.4 million in the period.
Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said: "The trading momentum of our strong first half performance has continued into the first few weeks of the second half and positions Whitbread well to deliver full year results in line with expectations.”
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