Costa, Premier Inn revenue boosted by marketing

Whitbread says that marketing campaigns for its Premier Inn and Costa Coffee brands helped push revenues up 14.5% in the first half of its financial year.

The leisure company says that revenue totalled £805.4m in the six months to 2 September, up from £703.3m a year earlier.

Costa, which the company claims is now second only to Starbucks globally, helped drive the increase with revenue up 27.7% in the period.

The company has ramped up marketing for the coffee chain this year and recently launched the brand’s first television campaign.

It also launched Costa Coffee Club loyalty programme in March and ran a print campaign claiming that Costa is “For Coffee Lovers”.

Whitbread says that it will open over 130 new stores in the second half of the year, split approximately equally between the UK and international markets, bringing the total at the end of the year to around 1,850 stores.

Premier Inn revenue was also up. Sales from its hotels and restaurant business, which also includes the Brewers Fayre chain, increased 10.8% to £608m.

Advertising spend on Premier Inn campaigns was up, the company says, with the launch of another Lenny Henry fronted campaign in the period.

Alan Parker, who will be replaced as chief executive by Andy Harrison on 1 September, says: “Whitbread has performed strongly in both good times and during the recession and is well placed to grow in the current environment. While the economic outlook remains uncertain, we are confident in the outturn for the year.

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