IHG heralds strong start to the year

InterContinental Hotels Group today heralded a strong start to the year with growth in revenue per available room across the globe.

Revpar, the key measure of hotel performance, rose by 5.9% globally in the first quarter of the year, driven by rates up by 3.4% in all four regions in which the hotel giant operates.

Room capacity rose by 4.9% to 723,000 and 14,000 more were signed into its pipeline of 201,000 as the company claimed its highest first quarter signings in seven years.

Revpar in Europe was up by 5.8% over the same period in 2014, with growth of 7.7% in the UK driven by rate increases in both London and the provinces on the back an improving economic backdrop.

Central and southern Europe are showing good signs of recovery but difficult trading conditions persist in Russia and the CIS, the company said.

The period also saw IHG sign a deal with Amadeus to develop a next generation cloud-based booking system.

The sale of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand for €330 million is expected to be completed in the first half of the year and a strategic review of InterContinental Hong Kong is on-going.

Chief executive, Richard Solomans, said: “We have made a strong start to the year, executing against our winning strategy to deliver Revpar growth of 5.9%.

“We achieved our highest first quarter for hotel signings in seven years, and openings in five years, demonstrating the continued momentum behind both our established and new brands.

“Holiday Inn continues to go from strength to strength, opening in its 75th country, and delivering the highest number of first quarter hotel signings since 2008.

“Our industry-leading boutique brands are performing strongly, with high single digit Revpar growth in the US and a growing geographical distribution.

“We opened Hotel Indigo in two new markets, opened three Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants and signed a further four, as we start to leverage our scale, growing the brand’s room count by almost 5% in the two months since acquisition.

“We continue to lead the industry with our focus on innovation in technology, and through our strategic relationship with Amadeus we will develop the hotel industry’s first cloud-based guest reservation system.

“It will enable us to shape the future foundations of our sector and allows us to concentrate on our own bespoke platforms, as we accelerate our work to revolutionise and personalise the guest experience through digital technology.

“With our current trading performance and the strong momentum behind our brands we remain confident that our winning strategy will continue to deliver sustainable high quality growth.”

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