Whitbread says Costa Coffee spin off making ‘good progress’

A Cappuccino stands on a table at a branch of Costa coffee in Manchester northern England, March 18, 2016. (Phil Noble/Reuters)
Updated 27 June 2018

Whitbread says Costa Coffee spin off making ‘good progress’

LONDON: Britain’s Whitbread said on Wednesday it had made “good progress” in Costa Coffee’s demerger as it reported a dip in first-quarter sales in its British stores.
Costa Coffee will be spun off after Whitbread yielded to pressure from hedge funds, including activist investor Elliott Investors, who argued it was being held back by being grouped with the Premier Inn hotel chain.
“Constructive early steps have been taken in preparation for the demerger and good progress continues to be made on the core infrastructure and efficiency work that was already underway,” the company said in a statement.
Whitbread said it expects to deliver full-year results in line with expectations, adding that it would provide an update on the demerger in October.
Total UK sales rose 3.5 percent but comparable sales at Costa Coffee fell 2 percent compared with a 1.1 percent rise last year.
Whitbread, which has a hotel business in Germany and a coffee chain in China, said its hotel chain Premier Inn saw a 0.9 fall in like-for-like sales due to a drop in visitors to London.
Costa, founded in London in 1971, has expanded rapidly since it was acquired by Whitbread in 1995.
However, over the last two years, the company has felt the pinch from higher inflation and low real wage growth in its home market.


Dubai announces $136 million extra stimulus package

Updated 24 October 2020

Dubai announces $136 million extra stimulus package

  • The announcement takes Dubai's total stimulus measures this year to 6.8 billion dirhams

DUBAI: Dubai has announced a new 500 million dirhams ($136.14 million) stimulus package to support the local economy, taking Dubai's total stimulus measures this year to 6.8 billion dirhams, the crown prince of the emirate said on Twitter on Saturday.
"The private sector is a major partner in Dubai's development process, and we have adopted a set of new exemptions for some fees and a reduction in rents for some sectors, as well as an extension of the validity of a previous set of exemptions from fees," said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum.