Hotels group sees profits increase across its regions

InterContinental Hotels Group reported first-quarter room revenue that beat analyst estimates as the owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza saw increases in all its regions.

Revenue per available room, an industry measure of occupancy and rates, increased by 5.9%, the England-based company said yesterday. Analysts had predicted 5% growth. The average room rate rose by 3.4% globally, the company said.

“We’ve had a very good first quarter and continue to see strong momentum in the business,” said chief financial officer Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson.

The company’s stock surged to a record last month after Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said it is exploring strategic and financial alternatives to increase shareholder value, fuelling speculation it may bid for InterContinental.

Activist investor Marcato Capital Management in November urged InterContinental to merge with another leading hotel operator.

Profit in 2015 will likely be hurt by the weak euro, analysts said.

Revenue per available room for the Americas increased 6.2%, less than the estimate of 6.5%, led by a 6.6% jump in the US, where the industry achieved all-time record levels of occupancy for each month since December.

Europe revenue per available room grew 5.8%, beating an estimate of 5%. Asia revenue per available room climbed 6.2% compared with an estimate of 3%.

Revenue in Hong Kong was hurt by the ‘Occupy’ protests at the end of 2014, and the company said it is continuing its “strategic review” of InterContinental Hong Kong.

InterContinental has been divesting properties as it focuses on operating hotels rather than owning them. Last year, it agreed to sell Le Grand in Paris for €330m and is examining options for its remaining properties.


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