Monday, August 18, 2008

InterContinental profit rises 29% in first half

The world’s largest hotelier InterContinental Hotels Plc reported yesterday a 29% rise in first-half operating profit, but said growth had slowed in the second quarter, particularly in the United States.

The British group, which operates InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels, posted first-half operating profit from continuing operations of US$284mil, in line with analysts’ range of US$281mil — US$290mil and a mean forecast of US$285mil.

The hotelier, which earns nearly 70% of its profit in the United States, said revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, grew 4% in the first half, but then slowed to 3.4% in July and only 1.5% in the United States.

“Generally, RevPAR growth slowed through the second quarter, and market conditions have become more challenging, particularly in the US,” said chief executive Andrew Cosslett in a results statement.

The InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane in London - Reuters

Last month, US-based hoteliers warned of soft US demand in 2008 and into 2009 with Marriott International and Sheraton-owned Starwood seeing a slowing US economy leading to US weakness in the second quarter.

InterContinental, which operates just over 4,000 hotels around the world, said it had exceeded its three-year rooms growth target six months ahead of schedule with 60,490 rooms added since June 2005.

Its half-year dividend rose 6% to 12.2 US cents.

Source : STAR
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