Premier Inn owner Whitbread turns to profit as leisure travel picks up pace

Oct 25 (Reuters) – Premier Inn owner Whitbread Plc (WTB.L) swung to a first-half profit on Tuesday, buoyed by a pickup in demand for leisure travel on robust summer bookings as pandemic-related curbs eased.

Hotel operators are benefiting as people spend more on travel and book longer hotel stays, lifting occupancy rates and prices, although they are facing risks from stubborn inflation and cost-of-living woes worldwide.

Despite macroeconomic uncertainties, the company said Premier Inn UK’s strong trading performance has continued, adding that it has a positive forward booked position going into the third quarter.

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The hotel chain operator said the group’s profit before tax for the 26 weeks ended Sept. 1 was 307.4 million pounds ($346.53 million), from a loss of 19.3 million pounds a year earlier.

The company’s revenue for the first half of the year stood at 1,350.4 million pounds, up from 661.6 million pounds a year ago.

($1 = 0.8871 pounds)

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Reporting by Amna Karimi and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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