Whitbread plc WTB Completed the sale of Costa to The Coca-Cola Company for £3.9bn on 3 Jan 2019, ahead of schedule. Over 2,000 new rooms were added with occupancy high at over 80%. UK like for like sales growth fell by 0.6% over the quarter and 0.7% over the year. Despite the high occupancy rates accommodation was the main culprit for the decline with falls of 1.5% and 2.2% respectively. International sales growth was much stronger and helped to save the day with rises of 3.5% over the quarter and 4.1% over the year. The company claims that it has experienced a momentous year with the sale of Costa for 3.9 billion but this current year is going to be much more momentous for the shareholders, as the sale has enabled the company to commence the distribution of largess with an initial share buyback program of up to £500 million.
Associated British Foods plc ABF has issued a trading update for the 16 weeks to the 5th January. Group revenue from continuing operations was 2% ahead of the same period last year at constant currency. Sales at Primark were 4% ahead of last year, at both constant currency and actual exchange rates. Sales at Primark were 4% ahead of last year, at both constant currency and actual exchange rates, and with a higher operating profit margin, profit was well ahead. Primarks share of the total clothing market increased significantly and sales were 1% ahead of last year.
Workspace Group WKP experienced strong demand in the third quarter. The Chief Executive claims they have continued to see a great deal of activity across the whole of the business. Demand for newly refurbished space in London has been particularly pleasing
SSP Group plc SSP has had a good start to the new financial year. First quarter total group revenue increased by 7.6% on a constant currency basis Full year expectations are that like for like sales growth for the Group remains unchanged at between 2% and 3%.