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Whitbread has today announced plans to focus on its strengths, concentrating the Premier Inn international growth strategy on a smaller number of specific markets where it can generate good long term sustainable returns and where there is the greatest long term opportunity to build scale.

Therefore Premier Inn will focus its international strategy on continuing to grow its businesses in Germany, a structurally attractive hotel market and in the Middle East where we operate a profitable and growing joint venture and will commence a phased withdrawal from its operations in India and South East Asia.

Expansion plans for Premier Inn in the UK remain unaltered, and Costa’s UK and International growth plans are not affected by today’s announcement. The impact of the cost associated with the withdrawal from South East Asia is not considered material.

In April I laid out a three-point plan to build a bigger and better Whitbread. I reiterated the strong growth prospects for Whitbread in the UK, where we have laid out bold milestones for Premier Inn and Costa and confirmed that Whitbread also has an exciting future beyond the UK. A key strategic theme is to focus on our strengths internationally and that means identifying those opportunities to invest our capital and management time wisely to generate the best and most sustainable returns. To build a successful future for Premier Inn overseas, we must focus on those markets where we can grow scale and where our brand proposition is most compelling for our customers.”  Alison Brittain, CEO, Whitbread commented