The world’s largest hotel group, Intercontinental (IHG), this week reported a 22 per cent rise in its operating profits, on the back of growth in business travel. The group cited good demand in the Far East and London and the figures contrasted with Thomas Cook and Tui Travel both reporting tougher times on the leisure travel market.
IHG, which includes the Holiday Inn brand, reported operating profits up to £138m from £113m on group revenue up six per cent to £488m. The group is to open a further 140 hotels by the end of 2010, on top of 148 already opened in the first half.
IHG chief executive Andrew Cosslett said “global RevPAR was up 3.9 per cent overall [in the second half] and 7.4 per cent in the second quarter. Asia is leading the way with Greater China reporting RevPARup 29.4 per cent in the half.”
Cosslett acknowledged the economic environment remained uncertain, however, with short booking windows. IHG announced a dividend of five per cent, nevertheless.
IHG senior vice-president, global corporate affairs Leslie McGibbon believes business travel has returned “with the improvement in the economy across the top end and middle market”, picking out London with a 5.9 per cent RevPAR for a particular good performance in Europe, as well as the good growth in China.
Caption: Photo Courtesy of Vismedia