HOTEL operator Whitbread is suffering badly from the coronavirus pandemic after reporting a pre-tax loss of £724.7m for the last six months.
The announcement of the loss, which is down from a profit of nearly £220m a year ago, comes despite managing to reopen almost all of its UK sites by the end of July.
This could not have come at a worse time for the company, who also own Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Bar + Block chains, as they have just signed deals for another 15 hotels in Germany costing up to €50 million.
Despite the company raising £1bn through a rights issue this year, the latest coronavirus spread across Europe and subsequent restrictions enforced by the UK government could be disastrous for Whitbread.
The hotel operator announced last month that 6,000 jobs would have to be cut as the whole industry is suffering badly from the coronavirus pandemic.
The company told shareholders: “Given the fast-changing nature of the COVID-19 environment in which we are operating, and increased levels of local and regional lockdowns, near-term visibility remains limited.
“However, as the situation evolves, Premier Inn remains well-placed to capitalise on the enhanced structural growth opportunities that will exist, driving attractive returns on investment in the long-term.”
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