Whitbread, which runs brands such as Costa Coffee and Premier Inn hotels, warned today of the impact of a tougher consumer environment, sending its shares 7% lower. 

Rising UK inflation and muted wage growth following Britain's vote to leave the European Union last June is forcing many consumers to rein in their spending. 

"Indications suggest that there is going to be some constraint on the pound in the average consumer pocket with inflation and higher petrol prices and a relatively static wage position," the company's chief executive Alison Brittain said. 

Brittain said some changes to spending patterns had already started to feed through, although adding that the company was confident of meeting overall expectations in the current financial year. 

Like for like sales at Premier Inn, a budget hotel brand, rose 2.3% in the year to March 2, while Costa sales rose 2% on the same basis. 

Analysts said the company is growing sales but at a slower pace than in the past as it struggles to fight off consumer trends at its two key businesses - hotels and coffee. 

Whitbread is facing increasing competition from Airbnb and the growing popularity of smaller independent coffee outlets. 

"The market and competitive landscape continue to evolve with more food-led operators now offering coffee and customers are becoming more demanding in the way their priorities are met," the company said in a statement. 

Whitbread said its full-year underlying pretax profit rose 6.2% to £565m, broadly in line with expectations.