InterContinental Hotels Posts 11% Profits Rise On China, US Growth

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By Martin Baccardax | February 19, 2013 6:21 PM EST

InterContinental Hotels Group posted an 11 percent rise in full-year profits after the world's largest hotel room provider saw better than expected growth in its key US operations.

Profit for the financial year ending in December was $614m (£396m/€460m), the company said in a statement published Tuesday on its website, an 11 percent increase from 2011. Group revenue rose 3.8 percent to $1.835m, the company said, while revenue for each available room, a key metric in the industry, rose to 5.2 percent worldwide and 6.3 percent in the United States.

"Our continued growth is based upon our unique close relationship with our hotel owners, who choose our brands and work with us to deliver great guest experiences," said CEO Richard Solomons in the statement.

"Our increasing scale and focus on reducing costs has allowed us to both reinvest in the business and achieve solid margin progression, resulting in double-digit profit and dividend growth."

Growth in China, the group said, outperformed industry peers thanks to revenue for each available room (RevPar) of 5.2 percent that helped produce a 21 percent operating profit from the world's fastest-growing economy. European RevPar increased 1.7 percent across the board, with 2.5 percent growth in the United Kingdom, the company said.

InterContinental Hotels, which owns the Holiday Inn brand, said it opened a hotel every 39 hours last year, adding 226 new hotels and 34,000 new rooms, taking the global total to 4,602 and 676,000 respectively.

InterContinental Hotels shares fell 2.6 percent in the opening minutes of London trading to change hands at 1,931 pence each. 

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