Trade improves

Premier Inn owner restores dividend as trade picks up

Premier Inn
Premier Inn at Lomondgate

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.

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