Hotel Brands

Whitbread swings to £195m FY21 loss

Significant Covid-19 restrictions throughout ‘one of the most challenging’ years the company has faced saw its revenue plummet 71.5% year-on-year

Whitbread has revealed that it swung to a £194.9m adjusted EBITDAR loss for FY21, a sharp decline from its £752.7m FY20 profits.

Significant Covid-19 restrictions throughout “one of the most challenging” years the company has faced saw its revenue plummet 71.5% year-on-year from over £2bn to just £589.4m.

While the owner of Premier Inn claimed that 92% of its hotels across the UK are open, it has not yet welcomed back leisure guests who are set to return on the 17 May alongside further easing of lockdown restrictions.

During the period, Whitbread completed a £1bn rights issue and issued £550m worth of green bonds to provide financial flexibility and strengthen its balance sheet.

Allison Brittain, CEO at the group, said: “We continue to take actions to ensure that we exit the crisis as a leaner, stronger and more resilient business, including commencing the next three-year phase of our efficiency programme that will target £100m of cost savings. 

“Combined with our financial flexibility and strong balance sheet, this gives us the ability and the confidence to invest with discipline and focus on strong long-term returns.”

Whitbread claimed that it expects market share to increase as the independent sector, which currently represents 48% of total UK rooms, is impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

Brittain added that as the UK’s “largest operator with the strongest brand” Whitbread can continue to “invest in our estate to enhance our customer proposition”.

Moving forwards, the hotel and restaurant group revealed that it intends to invest over £350m of capital in FY22, opening up to 3,000 hotel rooms in the UK and 2,000 in Germany.

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