Whitbread, the FTSE 100-listed hotel-and-restaurant company, is scheduled to release its results for the first half of fiscal 2024 on Wednesday. Here's a breakdown of what to expect:
Analysts from FactSet anticipate that Whitbread's revenue for the period will reach £1.59 billion ($1.94 billion). Morgan Stanley estimates revenue at £1.58 billion, while Visible Alpha consensus is at £1.54 billion. In the first half of fiscal 2023, the company reported revenue of £1.59 billion.
Pretax Profit Forecast
Morgan Stanley analysts project pretax profit for Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn budget hotel chain, to be £360 million, an increase from the £307.4 million reported in the previous year. The Visible Alpha consensus is set at £345 million.
Key Points to Watch
Morgan Stanley analysts anticipate that Whitbread will announce another buyback program. In April, the company launched a £300 million buyback program, which it aimed to complete in the first half of fiscal 2024. HSBC analysts believe that Whitbread has approximately £1.4 billion available for buybacks in fiscal 2024, suggesting additional cash returns may be on the horizon.
The board is expected to propose a 10% increase in the interim dividend to 26.8 pence per share, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. This contrasts with the Visible Alpha consensus of 36.4 pence.
HSBC analysts view disposals as a potential positive catalyst for Whitbread. A report from the Times indicates that the company may auction off 250 of its pubs/restaurants to established pub operators, with a projected deal value of around £600 million. HSBC suggests that these disposals could not only provide capital for further share buybacks but also unlock the underlying value of Whitbread's high freehold properties.