Premier Inn increased its corporate sales by nearly a quarter during the first half of this fiscal year.

Between April and September, revenue from Premier Inn’s Business Account increased by 24.1%, to £103 million, compared to the same period in 2009.

The figure is well above the overall increase in revenues seen at Premier Inn – the hotel group’s revenues increased by 14% compared to the first half of 2009, from £355.7 million to £312.1 million.

The budget hotel chain achieved a 79.3% occupancy during the period, 9.2% above the figure for last year. Revenue per available room increased by 9.4%.

Premier Inn has a year-end target of 80% occupancy, but warned that the last quarter of the financial year tends to be “seasonally weaker” and will pull the average down.

During the first half of the year, 9 new Premier Inns opened in the UK, representing 795 new rooms.

The budget hotel chain plans to open 3,500 rooms in the coming financial year (2011/12), to achieve its target of 55,000 rooms by 2014.

Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, which also owns Costa coffee and Beefeater restaurants, saw its total revenue increase by 14.5% to £805.4 million for the first half of the year.

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