Whitbread, Britain's biggest hotel and coffee shop operator, reported a strong start to the year, 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% in the 13 weeks to May 29, its fiscal first quarter.

Underlying sales at its Premier Inn and Costa divisions were up 9.5% and 4.5% respectively. 

The overall like-for-like sales growth compares to growth of 4.2% in the 2013-14 financial year. 

Underlying sales at the group's restaurant business, which includes brands such as Brewers Fayre, rose 4.4%.

The firm said it was "well positioned" for another good year.