Premier Inn owner Whitbread has reported steady first-half results.
The group posted a 2.6 per cent rise in revenue to £1.08 billion for the six months to 30 August, with statutory profit before tax rising by 0.2 per cent to £257 million. Underlying profit before tax rose 2.5 per cent to £270m. The group declared an interim shareholder dividend of 32.7p, an increase of 4 per cent on a year earlier. Costa, which Whitbread is selling to soft drinks giant Coca-Cola for £3.9 billion, saw profit grow 3.5 per cent to £47m in the half-year period.
Premier Inn reported total UK accommodation sales growth of 4.8 per cent, but like-for-like revenues rose just 0.2 per cent.
The UK arm has more than 74,000 rooms, with a further 13,000 rooms in the pipeline and international growth also on the agenda.
The latest figures round off a frenzied few months for Whitbread, which earlier this year said it would list Costa as a separate entity, following pressure from activist investor Elliott.
But in August the company announced the sale of Costa to Coca-Cola.
Whitbread acquired Costa in 1995 for £19m from founders Sergio and Bruno Costa when it had just 39 outlets. It now has more than 2,400 and is also embarking on overseas expansion.