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Costa Coffee grew its first quarter sales by 11.4% to £414.3m to help total sales for the 13 weeks to 2 June 2016 rise 8% at owner Whitbread (WTB).

Costa’s UK retail system sales, grew by 11.4% to £226.5m with stores growing like for like sales by 2.6%. Franchise system sales grew by 10.5% to £158.7m.

Growth was boosted by the opening of 35 net new UK stores during the period.

International system sales grew by 11.5% to £88.3m (8.5% at constant currency), despite seeing a tougher trading environment in China due to the weaker economy. It opened 18 net new stores in the quarter with 11 in EMEI and 7 in Asia in the quarter.

Premier Inn grew total sales by 8% and like for like sales by 2.1% driven by the group’s extension programme.

Whitbread Chief Executive, Alison Brittain said: “Whitbread delivered total sales growth of 8% in the first quarter as we continue with a relentless focus on our customers, innovation and investing in our strong brands. Costa has started the year well and Premier Inn continues to win share, albeit in a weaker than expected hotel market.

“We remain on plan to open 230-250 Costa stores worldwide and have increased our target to install at least 1,250 new Costa Express machines this year.

“Although it is early in our new financial year and despite current market conditions, with the benefit of our cost efficiency programme we remain confident of making good progress for the full year.”

Morning update

The board of Stock Spirits Group has announced a special dividend of 10p per share due to its lack of M&A activity.

At the announcement of its full-year results in March 2016, the board stated that its primary focus is the turnaround of the Polish business and that should a material M&A transaction not be completed during 2016 then it would seek to return capital to shareholders. Stock Spirits said today the announcement today of the payment of a special dividend “recognises that the group does not intend to undertake any material M&A during the remainder of this year”.

The FTSE 100 opened lower but was soon back to almost par, keeping hold of yesterday’s gains (see below) to currently trade just 0.1% down on yesterday’s close at 6,197.9pts.

The market welcomed Whitbread’s trading update, sending the shares up 3.1% to 4,168p.

Tesco (TSCO) is up another 1.6% to 164p, while other movers include WH Smith (SMWH), up 3% to 1,730.7p, Fevertree (FEVR), up 1.8% to 719p and Ocado (OCDO), up 1.6% to 242.1p.

Majestic Wine (WINE) has lost some of its gains yesterday, slipping 0.8% to 451.3p.

Yesterday in the City

The City breathed a collective sigh of relief on Monday as the likelihood of the UK voting to leave the EU appeared to recede.

A raft of more positive polls for the “remain” camp over the weekend drove the FTSE 100’s biggest single day rise for three years yesterday, with the index ending the day up 3% to 6,204pts.

The pound soared 2% against the dollar to $1.4678, which also represents the pound’s biggest single-day jump since 2009.

While polls on Thursday’s EU referendum vote are still fairly even split, albeit moving towards Remain, Brexit is now priced at just a 25% with the bookies.

Almost all grocery and fmcg stocks were caught up in the rising market tide. Some of the biggest movers were the supermakrets, with Sainsbury’s (SBRY) up 5.6% to 244.5p, Morrisons (MRW) up 4.8% to 185.8p and Tesco (TSCO) up 4.6% to 161.5p.

Other big movers were Greggs (GRG) up 6.4% to 1,086p, Booker (BOK), up 4.7% to 176.7p, PZ Cussons (PZC), up 4.7% to 337.7p and Associated British Foods (ABF), up 4.3% to 2,894p.

Majestic Wine (WINE) rose 3.9% to 455p after posting its first annual retail like-for-like sales rise for four years yesterday taking its full-year revenues above £400m.

One of the very few fallers yesterday was Poundland (PLND), which fell 1% to 205p having had its share price inflated over the previous few days by bid interests from South Africa’s Steinhoff.