Whitbread, the leisure group, this morning reported a slowdown in sales for the 13 weeks to 2 June against the previous year, as trading, especially across its pub restaurant division, was impacted by the extended Easter and Royal Wedding holiday. The company’s first-quarter group sales for the period were up 9.2% year-on-year, against a 13.5% rise in 2010, while like-for-like sales were up 1.7% year-on-year, a against a 7.6% increase the previous year. Performance in the most recent period was driven by a 4% increase in like-for-like sales through its Costa Coffee chain, which saw sales rise 22.5% Budget hotel chain, Premier Inn, reported an 8.1% rose in sales with, like-for-like sales up 3%. The company’s hotels and restaurants saws sales climb 4.8%, with like-for-like sales up 1.1%. However, sales across its pub restaurants were flat over the 13 weeks, up just 0.2%, with like-for-like sales down 1.4%. The company, which added 743 new rooms and three restaurants during the period, said that its restaurants delivered total covers growth of 0.8%. The group, which opened 73 new Costa stores in the 13 weeks, said that transactions across its coffee chain were up 5.1% during the first quarter, with total system sales up 20.4% to £182.5m. Andy Harrison, chief executive, said: "The trading momentum of the group in the first quarter was consistent with the outlook at our preliminary results announcement at the end of April. Total sales increased by 9.2% with like for like sales up 1.7% although our business was adversely affected by the extended Easter and Royal Wedding holiday. Since then Costa and Premier Inn have traded well. Premier Inn revpar is continuing to benefit from a stronger London market, whereas in the provinces our restaurants are being impacted in a more difficult casual dining market. “We are continuing with disciplined investment in our network to deliver our five year growth milestones. We are confident that investing in our strong brand propositions of Premier Inn and Costa and introducing further value offers in restaurants will enable us to win market share and deliver good returns for our shareholders.”