By Jonathan Davies

Whitbread has seen a rise in sales for the first half of the year, driven by strong results from Costa Coffee and Premier Inn.

Costa saw like-for-like sales rise 7.3% in the 11 weeks to mid-August, with sales up 15.3% to £602.4m.

Whitbread has opened 76 new Costa stores in the UK so far this year, with 300 planned worldwide for the full year and a further 600 express stalls.

Premier Inn saw a 9.2% increase. Premier Inn's sales were boosted by special events like The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Farnborough Airshow.

It helped Whitbread's profits to a 12.8% rise compared with the same period last year.

Premier Inn's sales increase meant total occupancy levels were at an all-time high. Whitbread said Premier Inn increased its market share during the period. It added 758 rooms to its hotels in the UK, with 4,500 planned for the full year.

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