Costa boosted by Starbucks tax drama

THE owner of coffee chain Costa revealed a surge in sales today as rivals Starbucks and Caffe Nero were criticised for their tax arrangements.

Costa

THE owner of coffee chain Costa revealed a surge in sales today as rivals Starbucks and Caffe Nero were criticised for their tax arrangements.

Costa, which has 1,212 UK stores, saw like-for-like sales rise 7.1% in the 13 weeks to November 29, compared with 6.8% in the first half of the year, parent firm Whitbread said.

The strong performance came as it emerged that Starbucks paid just £8.6m in corporation tax in 14 years of trading in Britain and nothing in the last three years.

While Starbucks has since changed its tax arrangement so it will pay around £10m in corporation tax this year, the revelations sparked a customer boycott and protests, and analysts have suggested that Costa could benefit from the bad publicity.

Meanwhile, Caffe Nero reportedly paid no corporation tax last year despite making profits of almost £40m.

Elsewhere, Whitbread said Premier Inn, which has benefited from an ad campaign featuring comedian Lenny Henry, saw like-for-like sales rise 2.5% in the period.

 

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