UK-based hotel and restaurant company Whitbread saw strong sales performance in the first quarter of 2017.
During the quarter, Premier Inn's total sales increased 9.2 percent, a small increase over 2016's fourth quarter. However, like-for-like sales rose by 4.7 percent—a major increase from the previous quarter's 2.7 percent.
The chain also achieved overall market share within a resilient hotel market and the opening of almost 9,000 guestrooms in the past two years. RevPAR rose by 3.1 percent over last year, compared to a market that was up by 4.1 percent. As capacity increased, total UK occupancy was up compared to the first quarter last year at 79.2 percent.
Premier Inn's CE Alison Brittain told DigitalLook that its five-hotel pipeline in Germany is currently being developed. Meanwhile, a Frankfurt Premier Inn hotel is performing well. "We aim to accelerate the development of our international businesses in these attractive markets and continue to look for opportunities to grow more quickly," she said.
As part of its property strategy, the sale and leaseback of a 247-room Premier Inn in Shoreditch was finalized in the first quarter of 2016. Proceeds of $64.56 million represent a yield below 4 percent. The company expects to gain further proceeds of around $126.59-189.89 million from sale and leaseback transactions this year. "We have a clear plan to deliver growth in our existing estate and remain on track to open circa 4,200 hotel rooms...this year," Brittain added.