Leisure firm Whitbread , owner of budget hotel chain Premier Inn , has announced plans to open one hundred more hotels after posting positive financial results.

The company, which also owns the Costa coffee chain, says the economic climate has had little impact on business, with like-for-like sales growing 5.7 percent for the first two months of this financial year.

In 2007-08 revenue on continuing operations rose 11.3 percent to £1.19bn.

Chief Executive Alan Parker says Whitbread plans to build at least 100 more Premier Inns next to its Beefeater and Brewers Fayre pub restaurants by 2013, and will grow to 55,000 rooms worldwide.

Whitbread currently owns 518 Premier Inn hotels with 36,000 rooms.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh