Whitbread increases its 2015 interim dividend by 13.1%

DividendMax Ltd.

Whitbread increases its 2015 interim dividend by 13.1%

Group like for like sales growth of 3.6%

Premier Inn total sales growth of 12.6% and like for like sales up 5.0%

Costa total sales growth of 16.2% and UK like for like sales up 4.4%

Group underlying profit before tax up 13.8% and underlying earnings per share up 14.0%

Group return on capital increased to 15.9% (2014/15: 15.8%)

EBITDA up 13.6% to £389.8 million, funding capital investment of £293.3 million

Net debt of £725.9 million (£583.2 million as at 26 February 2015) with debt leverage ratio maintained

Interim dividend increased by 13.1% to 28.50 pence

On track for 2018 and 2020 growth milestones

The achievement of these growth milestones would create c.15,000 new UK jobs over the next five years

Statutory Highlights

Profit before tax up 5.4% to £254.9 million (2014/15: £241.8 million) after exceptional charges of £25.2 million, primarily for onerous leases on historically disposed businesses and accelerated amortisation on IT systems

Profit for the period (after tax) up 4.1% to £196.3 million (2014/15: £188.6 million)

Total basic EPS 108.99p up 3.4% (2014/15: 105.43p)

Richard Baker, Chairman, said:

"Whitbread has produced another good set of results, demonstrating the strength of the Premier Inn and Costa brands. We are on track to deliver our growth milestones and will continue to invest in our people, our customer propositions and our systems to deliver profitable growth for our shareholders.

I am pleased to confirm that Alison Brittain joined Whitbread as Chief Executive Designate on 28 September 2015 and, as planned, will succeed Andy Harrison as Chief Executive on 7 December 2015. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andy on behalf of the Board and our shareholders for his outstanding contribution to Whitbread's success over the past five years.

Andy has focused the Company on the expansion of the successful Costa and Premier Inn brands, putting team members and customers right at the heart of Whitbread. Andy joined a good company five years ago and, when he leaves us in a few weeks, he will leave it an even better company, with excellent foundations for future profitable growth."

Andy Harrison, Chief Executive, said:

"Whitbread has once again delivered double digit revenue and underlying profit growth. Group total sales grew by 11.3% to £1.4 billion with good like for like sales growth of 3.6%. This drove underlying earnings per share up 14.0% and the Board has increased the interim dividend by 13.1%.

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