Whitbread, the leisure group, has reported a 4.3% rise in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 28 November, led by Premier Inn and Costa which saw like-for-likes grow 5.4% and 4.9% respectively.

Like-for-likes in the Hotels & Restaurants arm grew 4.1%, with a 1.8% rise in its Restaurants division, which the firm said outperformed its competitor set. Total sales in the period grew 13.8%. Across the 39 weeks of the year so far, like-for-likes are up 3.3% and total sales up 13%.

Whitbread said Costa continued to perform strongly, growing total system sales in the 39 weeks by 19.4% to £882m. Within this franchise sales were up 17.3% to £347m. UK Retail system sales grew by 17.2% to £473.5m, with equity stores delivering like for like sales growth of 5.3%.

Costa Enterprises grew system sales by 23.1% to £215.6m and Costa EMEI grew system sales by 12.1% to £141m. “The Middle East continued to deliver a solid performance while trading in Central and Southern Europe remained difficult. We have opened two new equity stores in Paris, building on the two franchised stores in France.”

Costa Asia system sales grew by 53.5% to £51.9m, with “slightly improved like for like sales growth” in China for the quarter. “Across Asia we opened 65 net new stores in the 39 week period and we continue to invest in infrastructure to support our rollout strategy.”

Whitbread reiterated plans to open around 300 net new stores worldwide and to install around 850 Costa Express units in the full year.

Whitbread said that covers in its restaurants over the quarter grew 0.7%. “Although the restaurant market continues to be challenging, particularly outside of London, our Restaurants business improved its performance and outperformed its competitive set.”

Regarding its openings pipeline for its hotels and restaurants, the company said: “In the UK we opened 2,309 new rooms across 20 hotels and six joint site restaurants in the first 39 weeks. For the full year we plan to open around 3,500 new rooms. This is slightly less than originally anticipated including a short delay in the opening of a large Central London Premier Inn, which will now open in early 2014/15.

“Our new UK hotel pipeline remains strong at around 10,500 rooms, with approximately 4,500 expected to be open in 2014/15. Our pipeline includes 1,000 rooms for our new brand, hub by Premier Inn, with the first hotel due to open in St Martin’s Lane in the second half of 2014.”

Whitbread said Premier Inns continues to win market share and for the 39 weeks grew total sales by 12.9%, total revpar by 4.0% and total room nights sold by 10% to 11.8m.

“In a strong London market, we grew total sales by 16.3% in the quarter with a 10.1% increase in the number of rooms available. Total revpar grew by 7.6% and our like for like revpar grew by 7.4% with occupancy at 90.0%. The Midscale and Economy London competitive set*4 grew total revpar by 10.6%.

“In the UK regions, our total sales grew by 13.5%, during the quarter, with a 6.9% increase in the number of rooms available. Total revpar was up 5.9% and our like for like revpar grew by 5.2% with occupancy up 1.2% pts to 81.7%. The Midscale and Economy regional competitive set*4 grew total revpar by 9.9%, benefitting from weaker comparatives last year.”

Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “Whitbread has delivered another strong quarter, with total sales up 13.8% and like for like sales up 4.3%, driven by the strength of Premier Inn and Costa and an improved performance from Restaurants. This keeps us on track to deliver full year results in line with expectations.

“For the year to date, we have grown our total sales by 13.0%, driven primarily by the continuing expansion of our Premier Inn and Costa networks. Premier Inn’s total sales have grown by 12.9%, with the opening this year of 22 new hotels with 2,718 new rooms, including two new international hotels. Costa’s total sales have grown by 20.8% with the opening of 246 net new stores worldwide, including 133 in the UK and 54 in China, bringing our total number of stores to 2,773.

“Our network expansion, as we deliver our growth milestones, combined with a strong focus on returns should continue to generate substantial shareholder value and create many new jobs and career opportunities for our teams.”

The group said that following the announcement that Susan Hooper will be joining British Gas as managing director of its Services Division at the beginning of January 2014, she has decided to step down as a non-executive director of the company with effect from 1 January so that she can focus all her attention on her new role.

Anthony Habgood, chairman, said: “Susan is taking a major new role in British Gas and I fully understand her decision to focus all her efforts on it for the immediate future. I would like to thank Susan for her contribution to the Whitbread Board and to wish her well in her new role”.

Following a review of roles and responsibilities on the Board, Ian Cheshire will become senior independent director with effect from 1January 2014 taking over from Steve Williams who has fulfilled that role since March 2008. Williams will in turn take over from Cheshire as chairman of the Remuneration Committee with effect from the same date.