Belfast Telegraph

InterContinental Hotels hit by early Easter and low oil price

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels has said that growth in the first quarter has been hit by the low oil price and the early Easter.

Room revenue for the period stood at 1.5%, with the Middle East region dragging on sales.

Richard Solomons, chief executive of InterContinental Hotels, said: "We have made a good start to the year, driving revenue per room up 1.5% against the background of weak oil markets and the earlier timing of Easter, which affected several of our markets."

Revenue from the Middle East was down 10.4%.

The company, which also owns the Crowne Plaza chain, said it plans to build 220,000 more hotels, representing the fastest rate of growth since the financial crisis in 2008.

Growth in the Americas and Europe remained solid, rising 1.9% and 1.4% respectively.

Mr Solomons added: "We continued our focus on building and leveraging scale where it matters, signing rooms into our pipeline at the fastest rate since 2008.

"Despite economic and political uncertainty in some markets, current trading trends and the momentum behind our brands give us confidence for the rest of the year."