Holiday inn

Holiday Inn owner IHG posts profit as bookings rebound

The Holiday Inn Express is seen in St Julian’s, Malta on April 13, 2018. REUTERS / Darrin Zammit Lupi

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  • First-half profit of $ 138 million vs. loss of $ 233 million a year earlier
  • In July, almost 50% of hotels have a July RevPAR above 2019 levels
  • China, strong United States, harder in Australia, Japan

Aug 10 (Reuters) – The owner of Holiday Inn IHG (IHG.L) rebounded with first-half profit, he reported on Tuesday, citing an increase in hotel bookings in the summer and noting some resumption of business travel.

It posted operating income of $ 138 million from a loss of $ 233 million a year earlier, but withheld from paying an interim dividend to cut costs.

Vaccinations and easing travel restrictions have helped the hospitality industry, but the highly contagious Delta variant is causing uncertainty as COVID-19 cases rise again and the pace of inoculation is uneven at worldwide.

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The recovery has been most advanced in Greater China and leisure bookings remain strong in the United States, its largest market, said IHG, a London-listed company.

However, things had “gotten more difficult” in markets like Australia and Japan, CFO Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said on a media call, adding that recent travel restrictions in China would have an impact. short term on IHG.

The company, which also owns the Crowne Plaza and Regent brands and has around 6,000 hotels in more than 100 countries, said overall occupancy rates were improving.

About half of its hotels in July reported revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key performance indicator, above pre-pandemic levels, he said. During the review period, the RevPAR increased by 20% compared to last year.

“Essential business travel has been a key part of our resilience throughout the pandemic, and we are now seeing more group activity and corporate bookings starting to return,” said CEO Keith Barr in a press release.

The company had called 2020 the most difficult year in its 200-year history.

It has announced its intention to launch a new hotel brand in the coming weeks to strengthen its position in the luxury market.

IHG shares, which fell 10% in 2020, fell 0.2% to 4,721 pence at 07:58 GMT in volatile trading.

Rival Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, beat second-quarter profit guidance last week.

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Report by Pushkala Aripaka in Bangalore; edited by Kirsten Donovan and Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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