WTB.L - Whitbread PLC

LSE - LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp
4,223.00
-52.00 (-1.22%)
At close: 4:35PM BST
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Previous Close4,275.00
Open4,241.00
Bid4,225.00 x 0
Ask4,227.00 x 0
Day's Range4,209.00 - 4,307.00
52 Week Range3,927.00 - 5,162.00
Volume369,416
Avg. Volume956,028
Market Cap5.646B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.72
PE Ratio (TTM)2.08
EPS (TTM)2,030.80
Earnings DateOct 22, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield1.00 (2.49%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-05-30
1y Target Est4,741.39
  • Financial Times

    Stocks to watch: Vesuvius, Renishaw, Bellway, Hays, Whitbread

    ● Vesuvius led the FTSE 250 fallers after a profit warning. Vesuvius expected 2019 group trading profit of between £180m and £190m, against a £196m consensus forecast. Numis Securities downgraded Vesuvius to “hold” and cut its 2020 profit forecasts by 23 per cent to £167m.

  • Barrons.com

    Whitbread: Long-Term Promise but Short-term Pain

    The U.K.’s biggest hotel owner has seen costs rise and its stock price slide in a difficult U.K. climate. Its long-term plans look promising, but it’s not a stock that’s going to see quick gains.

  • UK Regulator Persuades More Travel Brands to Stop Hate-Selling
    Skift

    UK Regulator Persuades More Travel Brands to Stop Hate-Selling

    The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority back in February managed to get a handful of brands owned by Expedia Group and Booking Holdings to change how they displayed information to consumers searching for accommodation online. Essentially it was concerned about hate-selling through techniques such as hidden charges, and ordered them to sort it out. The […]

  • British Pubs Aren't the Only Brexit Bargain
    Bloomberg

    British Pubs Aren't the Only Brexit Bargain

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The 2.7 billion pound ($3.3 billion) offer for the British pub chain Greene King Plc from an investment group backed by billionaire Li Ka-Shing has put the spotlight on other unloved businesses in the U.K. leisure sector.One stands out: Whitbread Plc. Since the hotel and restaurant operator returned 2.5 billion pounds to shareholders from the 3.9 billion pound sale of its Costa coffee stores, its stock has been in the doldrums. But it owns lots of property, which is just the thing that drew Li to Greene King. Some 65% of Whitbread’s estate is freehold, and international buyers might be attracted by the prospect of using the dirt-cheap pound to grab themselves some British property assets.The central business isn’t without its attractions either. Hotels suffer more than pubs during recessions; while Brits will always eat and drink, they may be less inclined to take a mini-break. Yet Whitbread is the country’s leading hotel chain, with a focus on the value sector, so it should be able to weather a downturn. While bookings fell during the last downswing, it outperformed its rivals thanks to cost controls and winning more custom among cost-conscious holidaymakers and business travelers trading down to cheaper digs. Premier Inn, Whitbread’s main budget hotel brand, has long been seen as a potential target for a bigger chain.With the value of Whitbread’s debt and equity not much higher than the value of its real estate portfolio, there’s certainly cause for interest.Of course, the company could try to better exploit the value of that property itself. Earlier this year the Sunday Telegraph reported that the activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., which owns a stake in Whitbread, was agitating for change on the property holdings.Greg Johnson, an analyst at Shore Capital, estimates that 3.7 billion pounds might be realized from selling the real estate, while Whitbread estimates the value of its property at between 4.9 billion pounds and 5.8 billion pounds.On Shore’s estimates, the operating company could be worth another 3.6 billion pounds. Adding in 300 million pounds for Whitbread’s German business, and assuming net debt of 500 million pounds, would take the equity value to about 7.1 billion pounds. That’s well above the current market capitalization of 5.7 billion pounds. No wonder Elliott is sharpening its knives.Superficially there’s appeal in Whitbread doing this by itself. But sale-and-leaseback deals (when companies sell off freehold sites and rent them back) are risky. Look at the retail sector, where chains such as Debenhams Plc were tied to ruinous long-term leases after following this path, hampering their financial flexibility when times got bad – as they do inevitably in consumer businesses.With the current political and economic uncertainty, Whitbread would be wise to resist any big moves to sell off its property. Activist investors were right to urge it to offload Costa to capitalize on piping hot valuations in the coffee market. Their case on real estate is less compelling.The dilemma for Whitbread’s chief executive Alison Brittain is that by leaving the freehold estate largely intact, she encourages a buyer to come in and exploit that value instead. That risk is heightened by a slump in the share price. Brittain should prepare the defenses. Shareholders should take some heart, however. She managed to wring a very good price from the Coca-Cola Company for Costa. If a property-hungry bidder came knocking for Premier Inn she might just do the same.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Activist hedge fund Elliott trims stake in UK's Whitbread
    Reuters

    Activist hedge fund Elliott trims stake in UK's Whitbread

    The Sunday Telegraph reported in May that Elliott had become increasingly frustrated with Whitbread's strategy of owning Premier Inn hotels outright and wanted the company to offload chunks of its property portfolio. According to the report, the activist investor believes Whitbread's strategy is depressing the company's share price and is leaving it open to a cut-price hostile takeover.

  • Madame Tussauds Displays the Appeal of Private Ownership
    Bloomberg

    Madame Tussauds Displays the Appeal of Private Ownership

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Shareholders in Merlin Entertainments Plc are poised to exit the theme park.The company that operates Legoland resorts and Madame Tussauds wax museum has agreed to a 4.8 billion pound ($6.1 billion) joint bid from Blackstone Group LP, the family behind the Lego empire, and Canadian pension fund CPPIB.The offer continues the trend for private equity groups to buy back the businesses that they once owned, and are languishing in public markets. The descendants of Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen sold a share of their stake in Merlin to Blackstone in 2005, and the company was listed in London in 2013. The family has held a stake throughout, and it now stands at almost 30%. Companies that are unloved in the stock market make good targets for a second bite of the cherry by the private equity firms that were previous owners. They know the businesses well. Add in the fact that buyout funds have more money than they know what to do with, and you have deals for U.K. satellite company Inmarsat Plc and Swedish building materials group Ahlsell AB.The 455 pence per share offer for Merlin represents a 15% premium to the closing share price on Thursday, and looks fair. It is around the level the stock was were trading at before a lackluster trading update in Oct. 2017, when demand for the company’s attractions was dented by nervousness about terrorism and the first signs of the U.K. consumer slowdown. The shares have traded lower ever since. They rose 14% on Friday, to just below the offer price.As for the buyers, it’s hard to see what they can do differently. Having come from private equity ownership, the company is already pretty efficiently run. There isn’t scope for big cost cuts. Current management will continue.What will be change is how patient investors will be. Blackstone is making the investment from its long-term fund, which typically has a time horizon of at least ten to 15 years. In private hands there’s scope for owners to allow ample time for investments to pay off, a point made by activist investor ValueAct Capital, which has a 9.3% stake. Merlin has spent about 1 billion pounds over the past three years developing its attractions, but the potential benefit from this has not been reflected in earnings, or the share price.The new owners are betting that the investments the company is currently making will ultimately generate returns. At that point, the Merlin can achieve an appropriate evaluation in public markets.There is one wild card: a combination with Whitbread Plc, which has been mooted by some analysts. The company is focused on hotels now that it has shed its Costa Coffee chain. It wants to expand internationally, and Merlin’s global reach would help. Merlin, meanwhile, is building accommodation in its attractions. Whitbread would bring an experienced operator, plus potential synergies.The large number of hotels that the group would own outside of Merlin’s attractions is a significant stumbling block, and makes a deal a stretch.But with the potential for Whitbread to come under pressure to bolster returns from its hotel division, Merlin’s new owners should consider the combination as another route to create value from the buyout.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at jryan13@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Elliott wants Whitbread to offload chunks of its property portfolio - Sunday Telegraph

    According to the report http://bit.ly/2VEGpuh on Saturday, the activist investor believes Whitbread's strategy is "depressing" the company's share price and is leaving it open to a cut-price hostile takeover. Citing city sources, the newspaper said Elliott wanted Whitbread to sell 10 to 15 percent of its hotel portfolio and "continue to be open minded about the rest".

  • Reuters

    Elliott wants Whitbread to offload chunks of its property portfolio-Sunday Telegraph

    Elliott Advisors has become increasingly frustrated with Whitbread Plc's strategy of owning Premier Inn hotels outright and wants the company to offload chunks of its 5.8 billion pound ($7.64 billion) property portfolio, the Sunday Telegraph reported. According to the report http://bit.ly/2VEGpuh on Saturday, the activist investor believes Whitbread's strategy is "depressing" the company's share price and is leaving it open to a cut-price hostile takeover. Citing city sources, the newspaper said Elliott wanted Whitbread to sell 10 to 15 percent of its hotel portfolio and "continue to be open minded about the rest".

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of WTB.L earnings conference call or presentation 30-Apr-19 7:30am GMT

    Full Year 2018 Whitbread PLC Earnings Presentation

  • Premier Inn Faces a Lonely Slog in Brexit Britain
    Bloomberg

    Premier Inn Faces a Lonely Slog in Brexit Britain

    The sale of the group’s cafe division to the soft drink giant left Whitbread focused on its budget hotel unit, and here the recent performance has been disappointing. Uncertainty around Britain’s divorce from the European Union led to weaker demand at Premier Inn in the three months to February, and this worsened in March and April.

  • Reuters

    Weak British hotel demand hurts Whitbread after Costa sale

    Whitbread, which has its origins as a brewer, has focused on its hotel business after Coca-Cola Co bought Costa for 3.9 billion pounds in a cash deal completed in early January. Whitbread said it expects weak room revenue growth in Britain for the financial year to next February as demand dips.

  • Premier Inn owner Whitbread sounds alarm on Brexit as hotel bookings stall
    Evening Standard

    Premier Inn owner Whitbread sounds alarm on Brexit as hotel bookings stall

    Premier Inn owner Whitbread spooked the City on Tuesday as chief executive Alison Brittain delivered a stark warning on Brexit turmoil sapping business confidence and hotel bookings. The firm is hugely exposed to the hotels market after completing a £3.9 billion sale of its Costa Coffee arm to Coca-Cola in January but says the political gloom has chilled business. Although Premier Inn’s UK sales rose 3.5% in the year to February 28, comparable sales slumped 0.6%.

  • Reuters

    Whitbread flags demand weakness, posts full-year profit rise

    Premier Inn owner Whitbread Plc said on Tuesday it expects weak room revenue growth in the UK for the ongoing year due to weak market demand. The former Costa owner posted a 1.2 percent rise in annual ...

  • Reuters

    Whitbread adds £2 billion to share buyback plans

    The group, which gave details of its plans at a Capital Markets Day on Wednesday, completed the $5.1 billion sale of Costa Coffee last month, has shifted the company's focus almost entirely to hotels, which includes the Premier Inn brand in Britain. Whitbread put the potential total for the number of rooms in Britain at 110,000 in the long term from an existing portfolio of 74,000 rooms. Investors have been looking for signs of an aggressive growth plan, with Whitbread flush with cash from the Costa sale.

  • Reuters

    Whitbread adds 2 bln pounds to share buybacks after Costa sale

    Whitbread Plc will buy back an additional 2 billion pounds ($2.58 billion) of shares using proceeds from its sale of the Costa Coffee chain to Coca Cola Co , the owner of Premier Inn said on Wednesday. The group, which completed the $5.1 billion sale of Costa Coffee last month, has shifted focus completely to its hotels business. Whitbread began a programme of share buybacks last month, targeting 500 million pounds in purchases.

  • Where Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) Stands In Terms Of Earnings Growth Against Its Industry
    Simply Wall St.

    Where Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) Stands In Terms Of Earnings Growth Against Its Industry

    Improvement in profitability and outperformance against the industry can be important characteristics in a stock for some investors. Below, I will assess Whitbread PLC's (LON:WTB) track record on a high Read More...

  • Premier Inn Owner Looks to Put Pressure on Independent Hotels
    Skift

    Premier Inn Owner Looks to Put Pressure on Independent Hotels

    Premier Inn owner Whitbread plans to keep investing in its hotel portfolio despite the Brexit-related economic challenges in its core market. The company, which operates almost 800 hotels mainly in the UK, warned of weakness in its UK hotel portfolio outside of London as consumer and business confidence declined during the third quarter. But even […] The post Premier Inn Owner Looks to Put Pressure on Independent Hotels appeared first on Skift.