Premier Inn owner hit by £725m loss as local lockouts dent bookings

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, plunged to a loss of £725 million in the first half of its financial year, warning bookings had slowed since the regional closures went into effect in October.

The firm, which also operates the Beefeater and Brewer's Fayre sites, said sales at its reopened stores after the lockdown restrictions have been lifted have been "encouraging"

These include the news that the company has acquired a 15-year deal in Germany under Centro, Ninetynine and Fourside, the brands set to join Premier Inn in December.

Alison Brittain, managing director of Whitbread, said: "Throughout the crisis we have taken decisive action and we continue to focus on protecting our guests, our teams and our business in light of the impact of the recent increase in regional and national restrictions.

By December 15 more hotels are expected to be added aimed at turning Premier Inn into the country's biggest budget chain.

Whitbread has more than 35.000 employees in 1.200 Premier Inns and restaurants across Britain, serving more than five million customers every month.

The loss came in at £725 million in the first six months of the year, against a £220 million profit in the same period last year.

Fresh suggestions to continue working at home as much as possible are an additional blow, bringing fewer business travellers to rooms.