Whitbread posts 12.6 percent rise in first half profit

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest hotel and coffee shop operator Whitbread (LSE:WTB) posted a 12.6 percent rise in first half profit as new Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee stores helped boost sales.

The group, which also operates pub restaurant chains, on Tuesday said underlying pre-tax profit rose to 216.1 million pounds in the six months to August 29, up from 191.9 million pounds in the same period last year. Revenues jumped 12.4 percent to 1.14 billion pounds.

That compared to a company compiled consensus forecast for 213 million pounds underlying pre-tax profit.

Total sales at Premier Inn rose 12.2 percent and were up 3.3 percent on a like-for-like basis. Total sales at Costa Coffee rose by 20.9 percent with UK stores up 5.5 percent on a like-for-like basis.

($1 = 0.6189 British pounds)

(Reporting by Neil Maidmentl editing by Rhys Jones)

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