Holiday inn

Holiday Inn owner sees income rise as tourism slackens

IHG’s revenue per available room, a key industry metric, increased 66% in the third quarter. Photo: Reuters

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG.L), which owns Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza among other hotel chains, said trade continued to improve dramatically in the third quarter of 2021 as global travel restrictions tighten. are relaxed.

However, stocks fell nearly 3% on Friday afternoon.

Revenue per available room, a key industry metric, increased 66% in the three months ending late September compared to the previous year. But the figure was 21% down from pre-pandemic levels.

Growth was particularly strong in the United States during the summer vacation, with some hotels exceeding 2019 levels for occupancy rates.

The UK saw revenue per available room down 22% from 2019.

“More and more guests have returned to our hotels around the world,” said CEO Keith Barr.

“The demand for home entertainment was particularly strong in a number of markets during the summer, where the occupancy rate and the rate recovered to 2019 levels.”

Business travel, group bookings and international travel also showed “increasingly encouraging signs, in addition to maintaining good levels of essential business demand.”

IHG's stock was down on Friday afternoon.  Chart: Yahoo Finance France

IHG stock was down on Friday afternoon. Chart: Yahoo Finance France

IHG opened 79 hotels during the quarter and 91 more are in the pipeline.

Barr expects development activity to accelerate further over the remainder of the year.

“The rapid progress we are making with the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza portfolio review also ensures that we are well positioned for future growth,” he said.

“As we remain vigilant in the face of fluctuations in COVID restrictions in different markets, the pace of the return in demand is very encouraging as travel reopens more and more in each region. “

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “It is true that there is still some way to go before the group reaches the highs reached in 2019, but given the travel restrictions that continue to affect many markets, this is a very good start.

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“The group is notable for remaining profitable throughout the pandemic, which is no small feat in the travel industry; However, he always takes the opportunity to rebalance his heritage, leaving the less efficient hotels, ”he said.

A review of some 200 Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels remains on track, the company had said, with more than 40 hotels engaged in improvement plans and more than 90 hotels already released or with confirmed exit.

“The group has actually stood still on room counts for the past 12 months – which is something of a rarity in a company that believes there are many more opportunities for consolidation in its core markets. American and Chinese, ”Hyett said.

Last week, the Lloyds (LLOY.L) Bank UK Recovery Tracker showed tourism and leisure – which includes hotels and travel agents – had a reading of 62.2 in September.

A reading above 50 indicates a rising output, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

The industry experienced the fastest growth of the 14 monitored by the tracker, for the first time since January 2012, as it benefited from strong demand and ease of foreclosure restrictions.

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