Whitbread is to invest £150m developing its Premier Travel Inn budget hotel chain in India and is close to signing a deal to take its Costa coffee shop chain to Russia. The Times. Daily Telegraph. Financial Times

The company, which is also considering China as a market for Premier Travel Inn, said yesterday that it had signed a 50:50 joint venture with Indian developer Emaar MGF Land Private to build about 80 hotels with 12,000 rooms over the next 10 years.

The joint venture will invest £300m over that period.

The chain will target both business and leisure travellers and the initial sites will be in and around Delhi, Madras, Goa, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.

Alan Parker, Whitbread’s chief executive, also revealed plans to rebrand Premier Travel Inn as Premier Inn.

And he announced that the group’s Costa coffee chain would continue to expand internationally as it seeks to increase its total number of stores from 762 — of which 573 are in the UK — to 2,000 by 2010.