Whitbread has reported strong growth at its budget hotel chain Premier Inn for the three months to 29 May, with the number of corporate guests nearly doubling compared to the same period last year
Like-for-like sales at Premier were up 10.7% for the 13-week period, with total sales up 18.3%.
”Premier Inn continues to outperform the hotel market,” said Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker. ”Sales through our Business Account card have grown by 40% year-on-year as corporate travellers recognise Premier Inn”s value for money and quality. As companies expect their people to save money, [employees] are looking round the market in a bid to find better value hotels which offer a similar high quality experience.”
Revenue per available room has increased by 6.2% with 8.3% more rooms sold due to the company”s expansion, and Parker added that the recent rebranding exercise ” it was previously Premier Travel Inn – is nearly complete and has been ”well received.”
There have been signs this year that the credit crunch and fears of an economic downturn could be beneficial to low-cost airlines, as business travel budgets are squeezed and the same could be happening in the hotel sector.
”We remain cautious, however, should the consumer environment become more challenging,” said Parker. ”The resilience of our businesses combined with cost actions we have taken, our investment pipeline and our strong balance sheet put us in a good position.”