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Costa Coffee China to treble network

Costa Coffee China is to boost its cafe network to 900 on the back of growing sales and profit in the market.

The ambitious expansion plan was revealed by Costa’s parent, UK listed Whitbread, which has announced a 17.9 per cent increase in sales for the Costa Coffee brand in the year to February 26. Much of that growth came from China. UK sales rose 16.2 per cent and by six per cent on a same-store basis.

The company will expand its UK store network from 1931 to about 2500, by 2020.

Costa Coffee China has two joint ventures with local partners. Last year it opened 43 stores taking the network to 344.

Last financial year Costa achieved underlying profit of £132.5 million, up 20.7 per cent on the previous year, outperforming its other business Premier Inns, a hotel and restaurant operator.

Globally, Costa sold 464 million cups of coffee last year – more than one million a day.

CEO Andy Harrison described the year as “outstanding”.

“We are continuing to invest in strengthening our brands and organic network growth, including in selected international markets. Our capital investment will rise to circa £700 million this financial year, up from £565.3 million in 2014/15.”

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