Premier Inn proprietor Whitbread hit by 'acute political uncertainty'

Premier Inn proprietor Whitbread has warned that demand for its lodge rooms is being hit by an “acute interval of political and financial uncertainty within the UK”.
The group mentioned it noticed a decline in enterprise and leisure confidence over the fourth quarter of its monetary yr to the tip of February, with the weak point rising into March and April.
Chief govt Alison Brittain mentioned there have been “ongoing indicators of market weak point throughout each enterprise and leisure particularly within the UK areas”.
The warning covers a interval when the UK has confronted intense uncertainty over the phrases of its departure from the EU – although Brexit was not particularly talked about by the corporate as an element.
Whitbread mentioned Premier Inn – which has greater than 800 UK motels – was worse hit than rivals as a result of weak point was most felt exterior London the place it has an enormous publicity, moderately than within the capital the place it has a smaller presence.
It made the warning because it reported full-year outcomes displaying a 0.6% decline in like-for-like lodging gross sales, largely blamed on a 3.2% stoop within the fourth quarter.
The group’s backside line efficiency was skewed by its £3.9bn sale of Costa Espresso to Coca-Cola, which accomplished in January, however stripping out one-off objects, pre-tax earnings rose 1.2% to £438m.
Whitbread warned that the approaching monetary yr would see weak progress in income per room amid a “subdued” UK market whereas taking a £12m loss in Germany, the place it’s trying to increase its presence.
It had beforehand warned in January that revenue wouldn’t develop in 2019-20.