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Prices & Quotes - UK Markets - Whitbread (WTB)

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Share Price:
Down 3,529.00p
Change Today:
-12.00p
Market Cap:
7,127m
Sector:
Travel & Leisure

Jobs cut at Whitbread as lockdown restrictions hit home

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Thursday 14 Jan 2021

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Whitbread has cut 1,500 jobs and warned of a "challenging" trading environment, as the latest round of lockdown restrictions caused accommodation sales to plummet by more than half.
Updating on third-quarter trading, the owner of Premier Inn, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, among others, said it had completed a previously-announced restructuring of its hotel and restaurant operations, resulting in the loss of 1,500 jobs. It is, however, less than initially forecast by the blue chip, for around 6,000 job losses.

Whitbread said it had taken the action "to ensure our cost base is reflective of the current demand environment".

In the 13 weeks to 26 November, like-for-like UK accommodation sales were down 56.0%, with occupancy at 49.3%. Food and beverage sales were down 54.4%.

Group sales, which includes Whitbread's German Premier Inn business, were off 55.6% in the third quarter, and by 70.2% in the year to date.

Looking to current trading, Whitbread said that the majority of its UK hotels had remained opened during the first half of December, supported by improved business travel, but demand had begun to fall as tier restrictions were tightened.

In the five weeks to 31 December, UK sales slid 66.4%, with occupancy at 31.1%. German sales were off 54.7%. Total group sales tumbled 73.3% over the same period.

Since 4 January, when the government announced stay-at-home measures, around a third of Whitbread's hotels have been temporarily closed, along with all its restaurants.

Whitbread said: "The short-term trading environment remains challenging, and given the ongoing and fast-changing nature of the Covid-19 situation, visibility of expected revenue and cost trends remains very limited."

Alison Brittain, chief executive, said: "We expect the current travel restrictions in the UK and Germany to remain until at the very least the end of our financial year. With the vaccination programme underway, we look forward to the potential gradual relaxation of restrictions from the spring, business and leisure confidence returning, and our market recovering over the rest of the year.

"We continue to protect our liquidity through the careful management of our cash position, and to take actions to ensure that we exit the crisis as a leaner, stronger and more resilient business."

Shore Capital, which has a 'buy' recommendation on the stock, said: "Although trading has deteriorated subsequently, as tight restrictions were imposed, cash burn remains under control, and Whitbread remains in a modest net cash positioning entering calendar 2021." As at 1215 GMT, shares in the blue chip were ahead 5% at 3,224.88p.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.

 

Whitbread Market Data

Currency UK Pounds
Price 3,529.00p
Change Today -12.00p
52 Week High 3,595.00p
52 Week Low 2,049.00p
Volume 403,609
Shares Issued 201.96m
Market Cap 7,127m
Beta 0.03

Performance Indicators

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What The Brokers Say

Strong Buy 13
Buy 0
Neutral 6
Sell 2
Strong Sell 2
Total 23
buy
Broker recommendations should not be taken as investment advice, and are provided by the authorised brokers listed on this page.

Whitbread Dividends

  Latest Previous
  Interim Final
Ex-Div 07-Nov-19 30-May-19
Paid 13-Dec-19 05-Jul-19
Amount 32.65p 67.00p

Trades for 16-Apr-2021

Time Volume / Share Price
16:35 163,992 @ 3,529.00p
16:29 77 @ 3,509.00p
16:29 85 @ 3,509.00p
16:29 20 @ 3,509.00p
16:29 32 @ 3,509.00p

Whitbread Key Personnel

Finance Director Nicholas Cadbury
CEO Alison Brittain
Chair Adam Crozier