Whitbread reports ‘impressive' H1 for Premier Inn

Premier Inn, owned by Whitbread, has revealed its intention to expand its pipeline to 125,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland after an impressive first-half performance.

In its half-year update Whitbread, the owner of the hotel group, said profit before tax was up by 44% to £391m, while UK accommodation sales were 15% ahead of H1 FY23 and 55% above H1 FY20.

Total statutory revenues increased by 17% to £1.57b, while UK revpar (revenue per available room) also had a 14% boost, which raised figures from £62.39 to £71.02.

During the six weeks leading up to October 12, 2023, Premier Inn reported forward-booked occupancy figures that were largely in line with the previous year, but with higher average room rates (ARRs).

Whitbread credited its success to a 'buoyant' UK market driven by strong consumer demand for both business and leisure, with London demonstrating 'particularly strong' performance.

Dominic Paul, chief executive of Whitbread, said: 'This is an impressive first-half performance. In the UK we maintained high levels of occupancy while continuing to attract excellent guest scores and offering great value for our customers. The strengths of our operating model and our continued focus on driving cost efficiencies across the business resulted in UK margins exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

'The group is in excellent shape, trading well and has significant growth potential, both in the UK and Germany. Based on our strong performance to date and an encouraging forward-booked position, we remain optimistic about the full-year outlook and look forward with confidence as reflected by our increased interim dividend and further planned share buy-back.'

As of August 31, 2023, Premier Inn operates 849 hotels with 83,934 rooms across the UK and Ireland, making it the largest hotel group in the UK.