IHG excels in the Americas and China

By Danny King
InterContinental Hotels Group’s fourth-quarter earnings surged from a year earlier, as the world’s largest hotel company by room count benefitted from more demand in the Americas and China.

IHG also cited increased profitability in its franchise business.

U.K.-based IHG, which doesn’t report GAAP net income figures, boosted its fourth-quarter profit before taxes by 68%, to $133 million. Revenue rose 3.7% to $451 million.

IHG had particularly strong results in the Americas, where U.S. travel spending is on the rebound and Latin America travel surges. IHG’s Americas region had a 6.6% increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR).

The company boosted RevPAR across all of its brands and sectors in the Americas, with InterContinental, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites all boosting RevPAR from a year earlier by at least 8%.

IHG’s upscale Crowne Plaza and midscale Holiday Inn brands had the slowest RevPAR growth in the region at 6.5%.

In greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), which IHG recently broke out into its own global region for reporting purposes, had a 7.7% jump in RevPAR.

IHG’s global RevPAR rose 4.6% from a year earlier, as strong results in the Americas and China more than offset lagging demand in Europe and the Middle East.

For the year, IHG reported a 34% jump in pretax profit, to $532 million. Revenue rose 8.6% to $1.77 billion.

Earlier this month, U.K. publication the Telegraph reported that IHG Chairman David Webster would step down after eight years on the job. Webster’s departure would mark IHG’s second major change in upper management in less than a year.

Last July, former IHG financial chief Richard Solomons succeeded Andrew Coslett as the company’s CEO. Coslett had been IHG’s chief executive since early 2005.

IHG declined to comment on the report last week.

Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels Corp. both report fourth-quarter earnings later this week.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly. 
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