Whitbread profits plunge 483% amid hotel closures

Whitbread (LON: WTB) has swung into a £660.5 loss for the six months to 27 August.

The loss for the Premier Inn owner is compared to the £172.2m profit in the previous year.

As hotels were closed during the lockdown, revenue plunged £76.9m to £250.8m in the UK and Germany.

Over the UK lockdown, revenue plunged by 99% as almost all hotels were closed.

Since reopening hotels, Whitbread has said that performance has remained ahead of the market.

“Whitbread’s long-term strategy remains as relevant and compelling as ever,” said Chief executive Alison Brittain.

“The impact of the Covid pandemic on the hotel sector will undoubtedly be significant and we are already seeing signs of distress and constraint in the competitive landscape.

“This is likely to accelerate the structural changes in the market with supply contraction and constrained investment amongst independent and budget branded operators in both the UK and Germany.

“We hold a uniquely advantaged position in the UK market as the largest player with the strongest brand.

“Our financial flexibility and resilience, combined with a strong balance sheet, give us the ability and the confidence to invest with discipline and focus on strong long-term returns.

“We will be well placed to enhance our market leadership position even further in the UK, and accelerate our growth in Germany, supporting our guests and teams and driving long-term value for all our stakeholders,” Brittain added.

Whitbread shares (LON: WTB) are trading 3.16% higher at 2.315,00 (0828GMT).

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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.