Brexit uncertainty in the UK hits demand at Premier Inn hotels
Premier Inn owner Whitbread has said UK accommodation sales dropped 4.6pc in its first quarter as Brexit uncertainty hit demand for hotel stays.
The firm said UK like-for-like food and drinks sales also fell, down 2.1pc in the quarter.
It warned that regional hotel demand in the business market was being knocked, in particular in the "more challenging" market conditions.
Alison Brittain, chief executive of Whitbread, said: "We have delivered a resilient performance in the first quarter despite more challenging market conditions and we continue to make good progress with our efficiency programme, which is helping to partially offset another year of high industry cost inflation.
She added: "Whilst we are cautious about short-term market conditions, we are confident in our plans given the significant growth opportunities in the UK and internationally.
"Given our strong balance sheet, efficiency programme and robust business model, we are in a strong position and we will continue to invest in order to maintain Premier Inn's competitive advantages and to capitalise on our structural growth opportunities."