Pub group Whitbread expects results for the current year will ‘somewhat exceed the top end of market estimates’ after seeing sales iprove in the third quarter.
The company saw revenues improve in the three months to end November, with total sales up 6.7 per cent and like for like sales rising by 0.3 per cent.
In the 39 weeks of the year to date, total sales are up 4.3 per cent, while like for like sales have fallen 1.7 per cent.
Its Costa Coffee business had a particularly strong performance in the third quarter with like for like sales up 6.7 per cent, more than double the increase in the first half.
Sales in UK and overseas franchise units were £141.8m, up 28.2 per cent. In the year to date, Costa has opened a net 154 stores in the UK and 22 internationally, Whitbread said.
At budget hotel chain Premier Inn, the decline in like for like sales halved in the last three months to 3.1 per cent.
Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants sales fell by 1 per cent in the quarter and are now down by 2.8 per cent for the nine months so far in what Whitbread says were some of the toughest trading conditions for years.
Chief executive Alan Parker said: “The positive momentum in sales and our rigorous cost control lead us to expect that our 2009/10 results will somewhat exceed the top end of market estimates.”