Whitbread will this week announce it is ending its sponsorship of one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes after 34 years. The decision is a blow to the literary world because the Whitbread Prize is rivalled only by the Booker in terms of prestige and influence. A spokesman explained that the company, once Britain's best-known brewer, didn't need to promote the Whitbread name because it no longer used it to sell products or services. Whitbread will release a trading statement on Thursday. The Sunday Times 11/12/05 page 4 The Sunday Telegraph 11/12/05 (Business) page 6