Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with over 785 hotels and 72,000 rooms. Until January 2019 it owned Costa Coffee but sold it to The Coca-Cola Company. Whitbread's brands include the restaurant chains Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Table Table.
|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: WTB|
FTSE 100 Component
|Headquarters||Houghton Regis, England, UK|
|China, Dubai, Europe, India, Republic of Ireland, Russia, United Kingdom|
|Richard Baker (Chairman)|
Alison Brittain (CEO)
|Revenue||£3,295.1 million (2018)|
|£589.8 million (2018)|
|£436.4 million (2018)|
Number of employees
Cookhouse & Pub
The business was formed in 1742 when Samuel Whitbread formed a partnership with Godfrey and Thomas Shewell and acquired a small brewery at the junction of Old Street and Upper Whitecross Street and another brewhouse for pale and amber beers in Brick Lane, Spitalfields. Godfrey Shewell withdrew from the partnership as Thomas Shewell and Samuel Whitbread bought the large site of the derelict King's Head brewery in Chiswell Street in 1750. The new brewery was for the production of porter, and was renamed the Hind Brewery after the Whitbread family coat of arms.
From the outset, Whitbread was the leading financial partner, and solely responsible for management, and in 1761, Whitbread acquired Shewell's share of the business for £30,000. It was the largest brewery in the world by the 1780s. In 1796 the company produced 202,000 barrels of porter. The firm struggled after the death of Samuel Whitbread Sr, and saw ownership transfer to his son, also called Samuel Whitbread. The company adopted the name Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1799.
Whitbread brewed over 575,000 barrels in 1917.
The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1948. Between 1961 and 1971, Whitbread's output increased from 46 to 160 million imperial gallons (2.1 to 7.4 million hectolitres) and it became Britain's third-largest brewer by output. In 1972, Whitbread became the initiating sponsor of the Whitbread Round the World Race (now called the Volvo Ocean Race), a sailing yacht race around the world held every three years. Whitbread sponsored the race until 2001.
Whitbread decided in 2001 to sell all its breweries and brewing interests (Whitbread Beer Company) to Interbrew, now known as InBev. Whitbread-branded alcoholic beverages are still available in the UK, such as canned Whitbread bitter, but these are not produced by InBev, but rather under licence by other producers. InBev controls the use of the Whitbread brand, and the hind's head logo, for use on beverages. In 2002 Whitbread sold its pub estate, known as the Laurel Pub Company, to Enterprise Inns. The Whitbread & Co brewery building at 52 Chiswell Street in London still survives, although beer ceased to be brewed there in 1976 and it is now a conference and events venue. Still named "The Brewery", it was part of the Earls Court and Olympia Group from 2005 to 2012, where it was subsequently sold to a private investor.
In 2005, it moved its core operations from CityPoint in central London, to Oakley House in Luton, and then, in 2006, to larger offices at Whitbread Court in Dunstable. In 2006, it went on to sell 239 of its 271 Beefeater sites to Mitchells & Butlers.
In 2013, as part of the 2013 horse meat scandal, DNA tests ordered by Whitbread revealed that horsemeat was present in some meat products sold in outlets owned by the company, at the time Britain's biggest hotel group. On 26 February 2013 Whitbread vowed to remedy the unacceptable situation.
In 2018, Whitbread faced pressure from two of its largest shareholders, hedge fund Sachem Head and activist group Elliott Advisers, to break itself up by splitting off the Costa Coffee chain, the theory being the individual businesses would be worth up to 40% more than the current market capital value. On 25 April 2018, Whitbread announced its intention to demerge Costa. However, on 31 August 2018, it was announced that Coca-Cola had agreed to acquire Costa Coffee from Whitbread for £3.9bn.
Whitbread's principal current operations are:
Premier Inn is the UK's largest budget hotel chain, with over 750 hotels.
Table Table is a UK restaurant brand. They started as converted Brewers Fayre restaurants. The brand was originally set up in 2006 unnamed; the name Table Table was launched in May 2008. There are around 100 sites in the UK.
Beefeater was launched in 1974. The chain underwent a huge revamp in the early 2000s. It then proceeded to change its name to "Beefeater Grill" for a period but in 2015 reverted to just "Beefeater". Beefeater has 140 restaurants across the UK.
Brewers Fayre is a pub-restaurant brand which was created in 1979. The pubs are designed to look and feel like traditional local pubs but with a particularly strong family presence. There are around 145 pubs across the country.
The Whitbread Inns brand of restaurants was created by Whitbread in 2014. In January 2016 there were 13 pubs (all of which were Table Table) across central and southern England.
Whitbread's former operations include:
The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 1971.1973 Whitbread Awards
The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 1973.1976 Whitbread Awards
The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 1976.1978 Whitbread Awards
The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 1978.1985 Whitbread Awards
The Whitbread Awards (since 2006 called the Costa Book Awards) are among the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary awards. They were launched in 1971, are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. This page gives details of the awards given in 1985.1995 Whitbread Awards
The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 1995.1997–1998 Whitbread Round the World Race
The 1997–98 Whitbread Round the World Race was the seventh edition of the around-the-world sailing event Whitbread Round the World Race. The Whitbread Round the World Race ran for the first time with all W60 boats and to a "points vs time" (instead of aggregate leg time) scoring system to enhance the value of the shorter race legs.
Also, in an effort to attract additional media coverage, the Whitbread race committee divided the race into no less than 9 legs for the 1997 to 1998 race, therefore increasing the number of ports visited.
Volvo had its first major association with the race in 1997 to 1998 by sponsoring the trophy (thus the race was officially known as the Whitbread 'round the world race for the Volvo Trophy) and some of the media coverage. For the first time running to W60-only specification, this year's Whitbread attracted just 10 entries—the fewest to date.2002 Whitbread Awards
The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 2002.
The 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year Awards was a book award ceremony that took place in 2002.Adrian Whitbread
Adrian Richard Whitbread (born 22 October 1971) is an English manager and former professional footballer.
He played for Leyton Orient, Swindon Town, West Ham United, Portsmouth and Reading before retiring from playing due to a persistent knee injury.
After his playing career ended, Whitbread became a coach. He had spells as assistant manager at Barnet, Brentford, Milton Keynes Dons and Leicester City. He has also coached overseas for Puerto Rico Islanders and Carolina Railhawks where he was head coach and for Antigua Barracuda FC, the Bahrain FA U23 Squad and Olympic team. Whitbread has frequently worked under the managership of Martin Allen and was most recently assistant manager at Chesterfield.Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (abbreviated as AB InBev) is a multinational drink and brewing holdings company based in Leuven, Belgium. Additional main offices are located in São Paulo, New York City, London, St. Louis, Mexico City, Bremen, Johannesburg and others. The company was enlarged in October 2016 when AB InBev purchased SABMiller and concluded a merger of the two entities. It was the world's largest brewer even before the acquisition of SABMiller and is considered one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods companies in the world. The annual sales for the company in 2018 were US$54.6 billion; prior to the merger, ABInBev had realized US$45.5 billion in revenue in 2016. The company was expected to have a 28 percent market share of global volume beer sales in 2017, according to Euromonitor International.AB InBev was formed through InBev (itself a merger between Interbrew from Belgium and AmBev from Brazil) acquiring Anheuser-Busch from the United States. In October 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced a successful all-cash bid to acquire multinational competitor SABMiller for £69 billion (US$107 billion). Shareholders for both companies approved the merger on 28 September 2016. The deal closed on 10 October 2016. The new entity has approximately 500 beer brands in over 100 countries.SABMiller ceased trading on global stock markets. The company subsequently sold the former SABMiller's interest in MillerCoors to Molson Coors, sold many of the former SABMiller's European brands to Asahi Breweries and sold much of its Coca-Cola bottling and distribution interests to the Coca-Cola Company.Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV is a publicly listed company, with its primary listing on the Euronext Brussels. It has secondary listings on Mexico City Stock Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.Beefeater (restaurant)
Beefeater is a chain of over 140 pub restaurants in the United Kingdom, owned by Whitbread.The chain's name references both the English figure of the beefeater, as well as its menu's meat (particularly beef) offering. The chain is positioned slightly upmarket of Whitbread's Brewers Fayre chain.Costa Book Awards
The Costa Book Awards are a set of annual literary awards recognizing English-language books by writers based in Britain and Ireland. They were inaugurated for 1971 publications and known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006 when Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship. The companion Costa Short Story Award was established in 2012.The awards are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.
In 1989, controversy erupted when the judges first awarded the Best Novel prize to Alexander Stuart's The War Zone, then withdrew the prize prior to the ceremony amid acrimony among the judges, ultimately awarding it to Lindsay Clarke's The Chymical Wedding.Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by the Costa family as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops. Acquired by Whitbread in 1995, it was sold in 2019 to The Coca-Cola Company in a deal worth £3.9bn, and has grown to 3,401 stores across 31 countries. The business has 2,121 UK restaurants, over 6,000 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,280 outlets overseas (including 460 in China).The Coca-Cola Company announced its intention of acquiring Costa Limited from parent company Whitbread PLC for $5.1 billion. The deal closed on 3 January 2019, it gives the cola giant a strong coffee platform across parts of Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. It is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world, and the largest in the UK.Fatima Whitbread
Fatima Whitbread MBE (born Fatima Vedad; 3 March 1961) is a British former javelin thrower. She won the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart, having broken the world record with a throw of 77.44 metres in the qualifying round the previous day. She went on to win the 1987 World Championships in Rome. She is also a two-time Olympic medallist, winning bronze at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and silver at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Her former world record throw makes her one of only two women in history to have thrown the javelin (old model) over 75 metres.Premier Inn
Premier Inn is a British hotel chain and the UK's largest hotel brand, with more than 72,000 rooms and 785 hotels. It operates hotels in a variety of locations including city centres, suburbs and airports competing with the likes of Travelodge and Ibis hotels.
The company was established by Whitbread as Travel Inn in 1987, to compete with Travelodge. Whitbread bought Premier Lodge in 2004 and merged it with Travel Inn to form the current business under the name "Premier Travel Inn", which was then shortened to "Premier Inn". Premier Inn accounts for 70% of Whitbread's earnings.Samuel Whitbread Academy
Samuel Whitbread Academy is an upper school and sixth form with academy status serving the rural communities around the small market town of Shefford in Central Bedfordshire. Its school campus includes a nursery school and facilities for adult education.Table Table
Table Table is a brand of restaurants set up by Whitbread in 2008, the brand actually started in 2006 but was unnamed. The brand was created following a rethink of the former Whitbread brand Out & Out. The majority of Table Tables are converted Brewers Fayres. This was during a time where Brewers Fayre was in decline.The Ocean Race
The Ocean Race is a yacht race around the world, held every three years. Originally named after its initiating sponsor, British Whitbread brewing company, it carried the name of its former owner, Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars and Swedish multinational manufacturing company, the Volvo Group from 2001. It has now, in 2019, been renamed The Ocean Race following four months of being known under a working title of "Fully-Crewed Around the World Race (FCAWR)" and is owned by Atlant Sports Group.
Presently, the Netherlands holds the record of three wins, with Dutchman Conny van Rietschoten the only skipper to win the race twice.
Though the route changes to accommodate various ports of call, the race typically departs Europe in October, and in recent editions has had either 9 or 10 legs, with in-port races at many of the stopover cities. The 2008–09 race started in Alicante, Spain, on October 11, 2008. The route for the 2008–2009 race was altered from previous years to include stopovers in India and Asia for the first time. The 2008–09 route covered nearly 39,000 nmi (72,000 km), took over nine months to complete, and reached a cumulative TV audience of 2 billion people worldwide.During the nine months of the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race, which started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012, the teams were scheduled to sail over 39,000 nmi (72,000 km) of the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient.
As in the previous editions the 2014–15 Volvo Ocean Race started in Alicante, Spain on October 11. Destination was Gothenburg, Sweden, scheduled for June 2015, with stopovers in the ports of Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Lisbon, Lorient, and with a Pitstop at The Hague through the last leg.
Each of the entries has a sailing team of professional crew (in the 2014-2015 race) who race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. The crew members are required to be more than sailors, some of them will be trained in medical response, sail-making, diesel engine repair, electronics, nutrition, mathematics, and hydraulics. There is also a dedicated media crew member, called the On Board Reporter (OBR) who does not contribute to the sailing of the boat, but is responsible for sending images and video to race headquarters via satellite from the middle of the ocean. In the 2017-2018 race the number of crew ranged between 7 and 10 (plus the OBR) depending on the gender ratio, with the rules providing an incentive to having women sailors on board.
Fresh food is not permitted to be taken on board after the start, so the crew lives off freeze-dried fare; they will experience temperature variations from −5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes.Whitbread Engine
The Whitbread Engine preserved in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia, built in 1785, is one of the first rotative steam engines ever built, and is the oldest surviving. A rotative engine is a type of beam engine where the reciprocating motion of the beam is converted to rotary motion, producing a continuous power source suitable for driving machinery.
This engine was designed by the mechanical engineer James Watt, manufactured for the firm Boulton and Watt and originally installed in the Whitbread brewery in London, England. On decommissioning in 1887 it was sent to Australia's Powerhouse Museum (then known as the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum) and has since been restored to full working order.
|Subsidiaries and brands|