Whitbread hotels and restaurants division, which includes Premier Inn, saw profits up 11.2% to £348.1 million in the year to February.

The budget chain’s total sales rose by 13.4% and 5% on a like-for-like basis.

Online reservations as a proportion of total bookings were up from 67% to 85% following an upgrade of the company’s online capability.

The premierinn.com website is now the preferred booking channel, representing 85% of transactions with 77% of bookings direct.

“We are investing in our technology and have recently launched a new mobile website for Premier Inn as well as a new iPhone app to improve customer conversion,” chief executive Andy Harrison said.

“We continued to win market share in both London and the UK regions, increasing our total room stock by 6.5% while delivering total revpar growth of 5.4% and occupancy growth of 1.7 points to 78.1%.”

The company plans to open around 4,500 UK rooms, with around a third of these in London, in the current financial year.