Whitbread explained many large national companies have switched to Premier Inn, the budget brand, as they look to cut costs in the current financial downturn. “New business account customers are up 12% compared to last year”, explained Alan Parker, chief executive officer. The group’s latest trading update shows an improved third quarter, with total sales up 6.7% and like-for-like sales up 0.3%. Premier Inn’s Q3 sales were up 3.5% overall but down 3.1% like-for-like. Alan Parker said the company expects full-year 2009/10 results to “exceed the top end of market estimates”. He added: “At Premier Inn, the decline in like-for-like sales has halved in the last three months”.
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