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.
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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