Whitbread was one of the first purchases of the Dynamic Opportunities Fund at its launch in September. My investment rationale has been the growing strength of its two core franchises, which I felt even with the backdrop of a reluctant UK consumer could prove worthy. There are advantages, after all, to not only a strong market position but also carrying on investing and innovating into your businesses combined with controlled overseas expansion. Developments since have included the appointment of a new Chairman (Adam Crozier) and the arrival of a US activist shareholder (Sachem Head) calling for the value creation option of splitting its two largest and most successful franchises Costa Coffee and Premier Inn. All of this though is theoretical and you should never invest on the basis solely of a hoped for deal such as a merger or a spin-off. Last week’s Q3 trading update highlights all of this and more. If you wanted to be picky then you would highlight the cautious comments about High Street trading at Costa which meant that like-for-like sales fell by 0.1% or the still negative performance of London hotels under the Premier Inn name but it could be argued both trends are rather highly discounted already. On a more positive note, the Group reported continued headline expansion under the Costa Express petrol station and retail stores brand together with growth in the regions for Premier Inn. Yesterday for the first time since October the share price tried to rise above £40, a level where it has failed to consolidate for the last two years. Whatever the reason, if it breaks through this time there will be plenty of smiles all round and not just from the baristas.