Whitbread aims to take advantage of 'structural changes' in hotel market

Premier Inn

Whitbread is expecting its Premier Inn hotel brand to increase its market share across the United Kingdom and Germany as more independent hotels are forced to exit the market.

The company, which announced a full-year loss of £1 billion, said it was “well-placed to take advantage of the likely market structural changes”.

Around 92% of Whitbread’s 820 hotels are currently open for essential business travel but the company is hoping to take advantage of a boom in domestic holidays over the summer months.

“The vaccination programme in the UK means we can look forward to the planned relaxation of Government restrictions as we move into Summer, with the first major milestone being the return of leisure guests to our hotels, and the full reopening of restaurants from 17 May,” Alison Brittain, Whitbread CEO, said.

“We expect a significant bounce in leisure demand in our tourist locations during the summer, followed by a gradual recovery in business and event-driven leisure demand.”
To help it get through the crisis Whitbread tapped investors for £1 billion last year and cut costs across the business.

Whitbread is in the middle of replicating its UK strategy in Germany where it now has an open and committed pipeline of 72 hotels. In the short-term this continued expansion, plus ongoing Covid-19 restrictions is likely to mean losses in that business increase in 2022 and continue into 2023.

In the twelve months up to the end of February, total revenue across the company fell 72% to £589 million.