Whitbread has started to see a “divergence” between the London and regional hotel markets, according to its latest trading update for the 50 weeks to 11 February 2016.

Across the group, Whitbread’s total sales increased by 10.4% for the 50-week period, with like-for-like sales up 3.2%.

Whitbread’s Premier Inn hotel division saw an increase of 11.1% in total sales and like-for-like sales up 4.4% in the 50-week period. In the 11-week period, total sales were up 7.3% and like-for-like sales rose by 2.2%.

Total occupancy for the 50 weeks stood at 81.1%, and total room nights sold increased by 7.4% to 17 million.

Whitbread noted a “divergence in performance” in the quarter between its regional and London hotel markets. In the regions, Premier Inn grew total sales by 8.3%, with a 6.8% increase in rooms available. Total and like-for-like revpar grew by 1.5% and 1.4% respectively, and regional occupancy remained high compared with the rest of the market, at 70.6%.

The hotel market in London was “softer”, with Premier Inn growing total sales by 3.6% in the quarter, with an 8% increase in rooms available. The brand’s total London revpar and occupancy were down, by 3.6% and 1.5 percentage points respectively, broadly in line with the wider market. Occupancy remained steadfast at 76.1%. Total London market revpar declined by 3.3%, while revpar for the midscale and economy sector was down by 2.2%.

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