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.

You can email your reactions to

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness