Whitbread froths up thanks to fury over Starbucks tax
Tuesday 11 December 2012
Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee saw its sales soar 25.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to the end of November as its United States rival Starbucks flew into controversy over its failure to pay UK corporation tax.
Perhaps even more impressive was the 7.1 per cent rise in sales from branches and franchises which have been open at least 12 months. That is up from 5.7 per cent in the second quarter.
Chief executive Andy Harrison said: "We cannot disentangle Starbucks from all the things that we are doing ourselves, like a really good TV advertising campaign, improved food range and some really good Christmas offerings." But he admitted: "It certainly hasn't harmed us. What we believe is that people are voting with their taste buds."
When prompted, Mr Harrison couldn't avoid another dig at his US-based rival. He said: "Last year Costa paid corporation tax at 27 per cent which amounted to £17m. I am not making profit forecasts for the next two years but I am pretty certain we will continue paying tax at that rate. It's no wonder Costa is the taxman's favourite coffee chain."
Whitbread isn't just coffee and there was a 12.6 per cent growth in sales at Premier Inns. This reflects rapid expansion within the M25 and particularly London, where it now has 8,000 rooms. That has taken the capital's share of all Premier rooms in the UK up from 15 per cent to just over 20 per cent in one year. Some of that was Olympics driven but the demand remains strong with occupancy today running at or above 90 per cent.
Including the pubs and restaurants, third-quarter sales across the group were 14.4 per cent ahead of last year.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...