Budget hotel chain Premier Inn helped parent company Whitbread increase profit and revenues in its first half ended 2 September 2010. Premier Inn’s revenues grew by 14% to £355.7m, driven by a combination of increased volumes and new units. Like-for-like sales were up 10.1%. Like-for-like occupancy improved by 9.2 percentage points to 79.3%, nearing its 80% target, which helped lift revenue per available room (RevPAR) by 9.4%. According to Whitbread, this meant that Premier Inn outperformed the rest of the budget sector by 5.7pp in terms of RevPAR growth. During the six months the chain opened 795 rooms, and in the second half is planning at least another 1,700 in up to 18 hotels, eight of which are expected to be on joint sites with a Whitbread restaurant. Some 633 rooms will leave the estate following the group’s decision to exit its ten-year management agreement on 14 hotels run by Roadchef and one run by Moto. At the end of the first half and prior to the Roadchef exit, Premier Inn’s portfolio stood at 43,588 rooms, of which 1,079 were located in its international markets of India, Dubai and Ireland.
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