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Whitbread 28 October 2021 QuickView
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Whitbread

Strength in depth

Travel & leisure

Deutsches Eigenkapitalforum 2021

28 October 2021

Price

3,312p

Market cap

£6,690m

Share price graph

Share details

Code

WTB

Shares in issue

202.0m

Net cash at August 2021

£60.2m

Business description

Whitbread owns and operates Premier Inn, one of the largest budget branded hotel chains in the world. It is a clear leader in the UK with c 81,000 rooms and has a growing presence in Germany (c 5,000 rooms). Its restaurant brands, primarily on joint sites with Premier Inn, include Beefeater and Brewers Fayre.

Bull

Strong position in a long-term growth market (budget hotels) with significant opportunity to repeat UK success in Germany.

Benign environment post COVID-19: pent-up demand, reduced competition and enhanced availability of sites at lower prices and on more flexible terms.

Robust, asset-backed balance sheet (available liquidity of c £2.1bn at August 2021).

Bear

Threat of continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

Macroeconomic uncertainties and operating challenges, mitigated by retention of good liquidity, new three-year £100m efficiency programme and scale (eg buying power and staff career opportunities).

Execution risk in terms of planned expansion.

Analyst

Richard Finch

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Whitbread continues to show that the strong get stronger with Premier Inn, much the largest UK hotel chain, materially outperforming the market throughout H1 to August and to date (by 14% in the seven weeks to 14 October). Notwithstanding seasonality, accentuated by the staycation boon, management expects leisure demand to remain buoyant, with tradespeople business resilient and office-based custom recovering, thereby a potential return of UK like-for-like RevPAR to pre-pandemic levels ‘at some point in 2022’. Robust, asset-backed finances (£2.1bn liquidity) give ample scope to capitalise on structural opportunities, enhanced by COVID-19 fallout, in the highest growth segment of the hotel market, both domestically and in Germany, where management is confident of replicating its UK success.

H1: Post-lockdown surprise

As only essential business was allowed up to 17 May (the bulk of Whitbread’s Q1), the pace of recovery to end August from almost a standing start is impressive, with Q2 UK accommodation sales (London apart) matching those of the same period of 2019 despite continued COVID-19 restrictions. While the staycation boon and VAT reduction were exceptional factors, Premier Inn’s brand strength, scale, distribution and value offering allowed double-digit pp outperformance of the midscale and economy sector in Q2. Central London was subdued, given weak international demand, but accounts for only 7% of rooms. In Germany (2% of H122 sales), severe restrictions throughout H1 (occupancy 32%) preclude detailed assessment other than recognition of a recovering market (60%+ occupancy in August).

Germany: Aiming to be number one

Whitbread confirms good progress in its goal to be the leading budget operator in Germany, a market potentially even more attractive than the UK as 40% larger, with greater regional spread and highly fragmented (independents 72% share vs 48% in the UK). Its open and committed pipeline of c 14,000 rooms, largely accrued during the pandemic, is already over half that of leader Ibis and on track for 60,000 rooms, which may understate as it’only 6% market share (Premier Inn has 11% in the UK).

Valuation: Attractive

Consensus estimates

Year
end

Revenue
(£m)

EBITDA
(£m)

EPS
(p)

DPS
(p)

P/E
(x)

Yield
(%)

02/20

2,071.5

755.6

166.3*

32.7**

19.9

1.0

02/21

589.4

(186.5)

(287.6)

0.0

N/A

N/A

02/22e

1,577.0

320.0

(57.0)

0.0

N/A

N/A

02/23e

2,161.0

670.0

85.0

0.0

39.0

N/A

Source: Refinitiv. Note: *Restated for June 2020 rights issue. **No final dividend paid.

With FY22 disrupted by COVID-19, pre-pandemic FY20 and pre-IFRS 16 numbers give a better guide to a likely valuation. £567m EBITDA on net cash of £60m (August 2021; excluding leases) suggests an EV/EBITDA of 11.6x, reflecting Whitbread’s clear long-term growth potential (average of 9.3x for European peers on similar basis).

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Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

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Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2021 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

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The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

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This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

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Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

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1185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been prepared and issued by Edison. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £49,500 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2021 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

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