By Daniel Hunter

Whitbread, the group who owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inns, have created 3,000 jobs in the last 12 months, and plan on creating a further 12,000 over the coming five years.

The hotel and restaurant group have outlined their expansion plans on the back of an increase in annual profits.

As part of their future plans they hope to increase the number of Premier Inn hotel rooms in the UK by 45% to 75,000 by 2018, and double sales at Costa Coffee to £2 billion.

Over the twelve months to February 28, like-for-like sales of at the coffee chain increased by 6.8%, although Whitbread's results did not say whether the success came at Starbucks' expense.

"In April 2011 we established ambitious milestones to grow Premier Inn UK rooms by 50% to 65,000 rooms and to double Costa's worldwide system sales to £1.3 billion," Chief executive Andy Harrison said.

"We are well on track to achieve these milestones and have announced new 2018 milestones to grow Premier Inn UK by 45% to around 75,000 rooms and to double Costa's system sales to around £2bn.

"This exciting organic growth opportunity, together with a clear focus on returns, will continue to create substantial shareholder value."

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