Underlying annual profits at InterContinental Hotels Group rose by 9.5% to $702 million in 2016.

The group’s new cloud-based guest reservation system remains on track for introduction this year following a boost in digital revenue last year to $4.3 billion.

Mobile delivered more than half of all digital traffic, $1.6 billion of global gross revenues and 60% of direct bookings in China.

Global revenue per available room [revpar] rose by 1.8% led by a 1.2% increase in rates and record occupancy levels.

The Holiday Inn parent conformed that $400 million will be returned to shareholders in a special dividend in the second quarter of 2017.

UK revpar increased by 2.6% year-on-year led by a strong fourth quarter, led by a strong end of the year for tourist arrivals and leisure travel.

However, revpar across the rest of Europe declined by 0.5%, impacted by “challenging” trading conditions in France, Turkey and Belgium, which all suffered from terrorist attacks.

The company signed 76,000 rooms, representing 500 new hotels, in 2016 – a record number since 2008.

Chief executive, Richard Solomans, said: “The fundamentals for the hospitality industry remain compelling.

“Despite the uncertain environment in some markets, we remain confident in the outlook for the year ahead, as well as our ability to deliver sustainable growth into the future.”