Whitbread - owner of the Premier Inn and Costa brands - has reported a growth in sales in the first quarter of its financial year, despite a \u2018weaker than expected\u2019 hotel market.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn its latest trading update for the 13 weeks to 2 June 2016, the company reported sales growth of 8%, compared with the same period last year. Like-for-like sales were up 1.8%.\r\n\r\nDuring the quarter, Premier Inn\u2019s total sales grew by 8% and like-for-like sales were up 2.1%, benefitting from a substantial hotel extension programme.\r\n\r\nDespite this, Premier Inn like-for-like revenue per available room (RevPAR) declined by 0.5% and total RevPAR fell 1.2%. Occupancy at the hotel brand was down 1.5% on the same period last year to 79.1%.\r\n\r\nAlison Brittain, chief executive, said: \u201cWhitbread delivered total sales growth of 8% in the first quarter as we continue with a relentless focus on our customers, innovation and investing in our strong brands.\r\n\r\n\u201cCosta has started the year well and Premier Inn continues to win share, albeit in a weaker than expected hotel market.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe added industry data has continued to show a soft hotel market in the UK, particularly in London. \r\n\r\nIn London, Premier Inn\u2019s total sales grew 5.6% in the quarter, but like-for-like RevPAR was down 3% and total revpar was down 6% - diluted by the high number of rooms which the company opened in the final quarter of last year. \r\n\r\nMeanwhile, the brand saw total sales in the regions grow by 8.5%, as like-for-like RevPAR was up 0.3% and total RevPAR fell 0.2% - diluted by the number of rooms opened.