Belfast Telegraph

Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza owner reports 25% profit surge

Chief executive: Keith Barr
Chief executive: Keith Barr

By Holly Williams

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels Group has seen half-year profits jump 25% despite slowing growth in Greater China amid the trade war with America and protests in Hong Kong.

The group, which also owns brands including Crowne Plaza, posted pre-tax profits of $375m (£308m) for the six months to June 30 on revenues up 12% at $1bn (£821m). On an underlying basis, operating profit lifted 14% to $457m (£375m).

But the group saw stagnant growth in the US - its largest market - and pressure on its growing Greater China division.

Across Greater China, revenues per available room (Revpar) - a closely watched metric for the hotel industry - fell 0.5% in the second quarter and 0.3% over the first half as a whole.

In mainland China, Revpar dropped 1% as demand for business travel was lower, which comes amid the escalating trade war between China and the US.

It also revealed an impact from the political unrest in Hong Kong, where half-year Revpar was "marginally down".

And in the US, Revpar was flat in the first half after falling 0.7% in the second quarter as the firm came up against tough comparatives from a year earlier, when demand for hotel rooms was sent soaring due to hurricane disruption.

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Keith Barr, chief executive of InterContinental, said: "In a slower Revpar growth environment, we've made significant progress, opening a record number of rooms in the first half."

He added that the group's broad international spread would help it weather "macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties in some markets".

Belfast Telegraph