Hotel operator's rosy year

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The corporation which owns Premier Inn has posted glowing results for the brand.

Whitbread, which runs the Costa coffee chain, as well as Brewers Fayre and Beefeater, said that the Premier hotel wing of its business grew by almost 10 per cent in the 39 weeks to the start of December.

All in all, the hotel chain - which includes a branch in Long Curtain Road, Southsea - had grown by 9.6 per cent over the period.

Around 80 per cent of its rooms were occupied over this period - in keeping with its targets.

Costa was continuing its blitzkrieg expansion, with a string of new outlets helping push its sales up by 11 per cent in the last quarter.

But the big freeze at the start of December hammered its pub and restaurant trade, with a slowdown in customers at places like the Beefeater chain.