Cost conscious business travellers and holidaymakers looking for cut-priced alternatives to foreign holidays are being targeted by budget chain Travelodge.

The disclosure came as the company reported a £5 million rise in annual earnings [EBITDA] last year to £110.1 million as revenue rose year-on-year by 6.8% to almost £598 million.

A total of 19 new hotels were opened last year, bringing the total up to 543 – representing 40,847 rooms.

A further 15 hotels are slated to open this year and as many as 25 in 2018.

Travelodge moved to attract more corporate customers last year with the introduction of Travelodge Business, an account service for small and medium size businesses.

This includes access to customised online billing and expense management tools, special rates and a business account card, which offers interest free credit provided by a third party credit card partner.

Travelodge chief executive Peter Gowers said: “We continue to focus on offering great value for money and have seen record growth from business customers, who now account for more than half of our sales.

“The UK is still short of good quality low-cost hotels and notwithstanding the short-term economic uncertainty, we see considerable further potential to expand our network over the years ahead, and expect to open an average of 20 hotels each year over the next three years.”

He added: “Clearly the macroeconomic picture remains uncertain and there are increased cost pressures from the national living wage, business rates and other regulated cost increases.

“However, our growing brand reputation and strong development pipeline position us well to benefit from the opportunities presented by businesses looking to reduce travel costs in uncertain times and leisure travellers opting for staycations as an alternative to higher priced foreign travel.”