LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - Whitbread, Britain's biggest hotel and coffee shop operator, reported a strong start to the year on Tuesday, helped by growing demand across its Premier Inn hotels, Costa Coffee and pub restaurant businesses.
The group said sales at outlets open over a year rose 6.9 percent in the 13 weeks to May 29, its fiscal first quarter, with underlying sales at its Premier Inn and Costa divisions up 9.5 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.
The overall like-for-like sales growth compares to growth of 4.2 percent in the 2013-14 financial year.
Underlying sales at the group's restaurant business, which includes brands such as Brewers Fayre, rose 4.4 percent.
The firm said it was "well positioned" for another good year.
Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton