Whitbread has reported a 1.8% increase in like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks to 16th February driven by a rise in sales across its Costa Coffee estate, which offset a negative performance from its budget hotel brand Premier Inn. Costa reported a 6.2% rise in like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks, against a 0.9% decline in Premier Inn, as hotel market RevPAR in the regions fell by around 3% in the quarter, in contrast to a more robust London market. The group’s restaurants division, which includes the Beefeater and Brewer’s Fayre chains, experienced a 2.2% rise in like-for-like sales in the period, while its hotels and restaurants reported a 0.5% increase. The company said that its restaurant business benefited from better trading over the Christmas period, albeit against snow impacted comparatives, and that it remained focused on strengthening its brand propositions. Whitbread reported a 10.1% increase in total sales for the 11 weeks, with Costa up 24.4%, hotels and restaurants up 4%, restaurants up 4.3% and Premier Inn up 3.7%. For the 50 weeks to 16 February, the group reported a 2.7% rise in like-for-like sales, again driven by a 5.8% increase across its Costa estate. Premier Inn experienced a 3.4% rise in like-for-likes during the 50 weeks, with hotels and restaurants up 2%, while like-for-like sales across its restaurants division were flat. Total sales for the 50 weeks increased by 11%, on the back of a 25% rise at Costa, an 8.7% increase at Premier Inn, a 5.9% increase across its hotels and restaurants and a 1.9% rise in sales across the group’s restaurant division. During the 50 weeks, Whitbread opened 3,640 new rooms and 11 restaurants and it said it was on track to have opened 4,000 new rooms and 12 restaurants in the UK by year end. Its restaurants delivered total covers growth of 3.9% over the period. Total system sales at Costa grew by 24.6% to £786m during the 50 weeks, within which franchise sales were up 19.3% to £320m. Whitbread said that like-for-like sales in its UK equity Costa stores were up 5.8% with transactions up 6.1%. It opened a record 359 new Costa stores during the period, which was made up of 177 new stores in the UK and 182 new stores internationally, including 71 in China. In India and China it now has a total of 95 and 163 stores respectively. Andy Harrison, chief executive, said: “Whitbread has delivered good total sales growth of 11% for the year in difficult economic conditions, as we continue to invest in our strong brands. We expect to report in April another full year of double-digit earnings growth, in line with expectations. “We have around 10,000 Premier Inn rooms in our committed pipeline, which together with Costa's growth plan means that we expect to create a further 10,000 jobs in the UK over the next three years, in addition to the 2,500 that we have created in 2011/12.”