Premier Inn owner restores dividend as trade picks up
Premier Inn owner Whitbread has resumed its dividend after UK accommodation sales came in 198% ahead of the previous year with total UK food and beverage sales 170.2% higher.
The board declared a final dividend per share of 34.7p resulting in a total dividend payment of £70m, payable on 1 July 2022, reflecting both the group’s encouraging trading, and confidence in the outlook.
As a result of the business being open to only essential business travel for the majority of the first quarter, UK total accommodation sales for the 53 week period ended 3 March 2022 were 11.7% behind pre-COVID levels (and like-for-like 15.5% behind).
However, from Q2 onwards, performance improved significantly, quickly returning to, and then exceeding pre-COVID levels.
Statutory revenues were 189% ahead of FY21 reflecting the strong recovery in sales post COVID restrictions, and the estate growth in the UK and Germany.
Statutory profit before tax came in at £58.2m, compared to a loss of £1.007bn in FY21. Adjusting items before tax in the year were a net credit of £74m, including £33.2m profit from property disposals, and £42m of net property impairment reversals (FY21: £109.2m charge)
Both the FY22 statutory profit and the adjusted loss before tax of £15.8m benefited from £126.5m of COVID related UK Government support schemes, a significant reduction from the prior year (FY21: £260.3m), and £44.3m of COVID related support schemes in Germany (FY21: £11.8m).
Premier Inn UK’s hotel trading in the 7 weeks to 21 April 2022 remains well ahead of the market; total accommodation sales were 326.6% ahead of the same period last year and 29.9% ahead of FY20 (pre-COVID), representing a 28.3pp outperformance of the midscale and economy market.