Whitbread says Costa Coffee spin off making ‘good progress’

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’

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.


Saudi banks likely to maintain strong performance over 2021, says top official

Saudi banks likely to maintain strong performance over 2021, says top official
Updated 17 January 2021

Saudi banks likely to maintain strong performance over 2021, says top official

Saudi banks likely to maintain strong performance over 2021, says top official
  • Saudi Arabian banks are forecast to maintain robust performance over 2021

Saudi Arabian banks are forecast to maintain robust performance over 2021, in line with the foreseen recovery of the Kingdom’s economy, Asharq Al-Awsat reported, citing Talaat Hafez, Secretary General of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi Banks.

“This is driven by preliminary growth estimates of the gross domestic product (GDP) at nearly 3.2%, boosted by the forecast sustainable growth of the economic activity in the Kingdom,” he added.