October 16th 2007 – Leading UK hospitality company Whitbread have reported better than expected half year results and some of it appears down to the Whitbread run coffee shops Costa Coffee.
Costa, the UK’s fastest growing coffee shop brand, has over 800 stores (150 of which are overseas). These helped drive profits up 13.3% on last years 2006 results.
Whether this growth will continue remains unknown however, Costa faces some sterling competition from the other big hitters namely Starbucks and Café Nero which continue to strengthen their UK market share in what is an increasingly competitive niche.
With the saturation of the coffee shop on the UK high street recent years have seen the dominant players attempting to carve out their USP, whether through individual food ranges or affiliation with other markets such as Starbucks foray into the CD music compilations that are played in store.
Diversity seems key to future success in the marketplace for the likes of Costa, especially given the push towards “healthier” food and drink. However given this, Whitbread remain pleased with the results and sees “good growth potential” in the UK market, the company plans further Costa stores and continues to expand it’s hotel arm planning new hotels in Dubai and India.