Whitbread sees surge in H1 2024 pretax profit, raises capital expenditure guidance

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Whitbread sees surge in H1 2024 pretax profit, raises capital expenditure guidance
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Whitbread (LON: WTB ), the owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain and a FTSE 100 listed company, has reported a significant increase in its pretax profit for the first half (H1) of fiscal 2024, ending on September 1. The company's pretax profit rose to GBP 395.1 million, marking a significant surge from GBP 307.4 million recorded during the same period in the previous year. This increase was primarily driven by increased occupancy levels and robust food & beverage sales.

The firm also registered a substantial uptick in adjusted pretax profit, which climbed to GBP 391.4 million from GBP 271.9 million previously. Total revenue for H1 fiscal 2024 also experienced growth, reaching GBP1.57 billion compared to last year's GBP1.35 billion, albeit slightly below the FactSet and three analysts' consensus estimate of GBP1.59 billion.

In addition, Whitbread reported a 15% year-on-year (YoY) increase in total U.K. accommodation sales for the first half of fiscal 2024. Reflecting its strong performance, the company declared an increased interim dividend of 34.1 pence per share, up from the previous 24.4 pence.

Simultaneously, Whitbread announced the launch of a £300 million buyback program. In line with its improved financial position and future growth prospects, the company has raised its capital expenditure guidance to between £500-£550 million, up from the earlier forecast range of £400-£450 million. This increase is expected to be partially funded by property transaction disposal proceeds anticipated to be between £50-£100 million.

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