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Whitfread sales beat expectations as the UK’s largest budget hotel operator withdrew from the viscous independent sector into business, while sales in its home market were particularly buoyant.

Accommodation sales in the UK rose 21.3 per cent in the three months to June 2, before the outbreak, compared to the same period in 2019, the Premier Hotel owner said. They have tripled compared to last year’s lockdown-hit period.

Shares of Whitbread rose nearly 4 percent in early London trading on Wednesday, reducing its annual decline to 11 percent.

Premier Inn’s recovery “continues to exceed expectations,” CEO Alison Brittain said Wednesday, adding that the hotel chain was “significantly” surpassing the market.

The UK claims part of the enhanced performance in the “accelerated independent distribution summary”.

Total housing sales outnumbered competitors in the sector by 27.2 per cent, while UK food and beverage sales were approaching pre-Govt levels, the report said.

“This impressive first-quarter performance, with improved visibility in the second quarter, gives us more confidence in delivering a strong first half and is ahead of the market later this year,” Britain said.

Shore Capital’s analyst Greg Johnson said the premier hotel was particularly in high demand in London.

He warned that the consumer-driven recession is developing this year, but may improve sales.

Whitford’s expanding Germany has also exceeded expectations over the past two months as the country emerges from locking restrictions.

“We are confident that the full-year outlook in Germany is improving,” the statement added. “There is no change in our view of Premier Inn’s medium and long term value creation potential in Germany.”

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