Costa Coffee opened 63 new stores across the UK last year despite the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.

International real estate advisor Savills has revealed it agreed 30 new sites for the brand in 2020, contributing to the total 63 new equity openings for Costa last year.

Of those secured by Savills, 21 were drive-thru sites in locations such as Pontprennau, East Lothian, and Luton.

The business also acquired four stores in retail parks including Trostre Retail Park, Llanelli and Kingstown Retail Park, Carlisle, and five stores in high street and travel locations such as Exeter High Street and Winchester and Oxford train stations.

“We’re delighted to have been able to continue to grow our store portfolio in the UK over the past year, across both equity and drive-thru sites,” said James Hamilton, Costa UK&I property and store development director. “In 2020, our drive-thru stores played a particularly important role for us in enabling our on-the-go customers to be able to safely and easily purchase their favourite Costa coffee while out on essential journeys.

“Our robust safety measures allow us to continue to plan and open more sites in 2021, and we look forward to doing this alongside the experienced team at Savills.”

In September, the business announced it was to cut up to 1,650 jobs as a result of the pandemic, including the removal of its assistant store manager role across the entire UK estate.

Recent reports from Coca Cola have suggested sales declines at the Costa brand led to the parent company’s international unit swinging to a loss.

Tea and coffee declined 15% for the quarter and 17% for the year, primarily driven by coronavirus-related pressure on Costa retail stores, Coca Cola said.

Its global ventures division, which also includes Innocent Smoothies, reported an operating loss of $9m (£6.5m) in the last quarter.

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