Whitbread (UK)

Whitbread has transformed itself since the late 1990s, divesting all its brewery operations (to what is now AB InBev) in order to specialise in hospitality. It is the UK's leading hotel and restaurant group. Hotel chain Premier Inn, with 785 sites and 72,000 rooms, is the local market leader in the budget segment. Though based primarily in the UK, it has begun to establish a presence in selected international markets as well, with Germany its biggest international market. Revenues were just over £2bn in ye 2018. Coffee chain Costa also leads the local market with more than 2,400 outlets in the UK and around 47% of the local market, well ahead of Starbucks in both size and popularity. It also has more than 7,250 Costa Express self-service coffee machines in third-party convenience stores. There are over 1,400 other licensed outlets in 30 international markets, including 450 in China. Global sales were over £1.3bn in ye 2018. Whitbread has announced plans to spin off Costa as a separate company in 2020. Other UK restaurant brands include Beefeater Grill and Brewers Fayre eateries, mostly alongside Premier Inn locations. Together those three brands make Whitbread the second largest restaurant group in the UK after McDonald's. Alison Brittain (ex-Lloyds Banking) succeeded Andy Harrison as group chief executive in 2016. Combined revenues for the year ending 2018 were 3.3bn. Numerous other businesses have been sold since the 1990s. Whitbread was originally one of the country's biggest brewers, founded by Samuel Whitbread in the 18th century. The brewery moved into the hospitality industry in the 1980s with various hotel and restaurant acquisitions, as well as health & fitness operator David Lloyd Leisure. The heritage pub business was eventually sold in 2001, followed by the bulk of what had become a large restaurant division that also included TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut UK. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Capsule checked 25th April 2018

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Apr 2018: UK hospitality group Whitbread announced plans to spin off its Costa Coffee chain - the UK's biggest, ahead of Starbucks - as a separate public company within the next two years. The decision follows increasing pressure from activist investors to split Costa from Whitbread's Premier Inn hotel chain and restaurants. For the year to March 2018, group revenues were £3.3bn, with just £2.0bn from hotels and restaurants and £1.3bn from Costa.  

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