Hotel Brands

IHG reports slowdown in occupancy in Q1 2019

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) announced a slowdown in occupancy during the first quarter of 2019, but has continued its expansion drive with its most active quarter in over a decade.

IHG revealed in a trading update covering the first three months of the year ending 31 March 2019 that it had added 12,000 rooms to its portfolio in the three months to March and had another 24,000 in the pipeline.

IHG also reported that is saw a 0.3% increase in like-for-like RevPar, this is despite experiencing a 0.2% decrease in occupancy during the period. London was said to have driven RevPar growth for IHG after the business reported that the capital was up 4% in first-quarter trading. Total UK RevPar was up 2%, while the provinces were flat in the three months to March 2019.

Keith Barr, chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, said: “Our strategic focus on driving industry leading net rooms growth is delivering strong results, with our net system size increasing 5.4% in the first quarter and our highest number of signings in 12 years. Global RevPar increased 0.3% against strong prior year results, with good growth in the US where we outperformed the industry segments where we compete, and continued market share gains in China.

“Our highest first quarter hotel openings in a decade included our 400th hotel in Greater China. More than 60% of openings globally were in the Holiday Inn Brand Family, driven by our focus on innovative design and service enhancements which is leading to improved guest satisfaction across our highly preferred portfolio of global brands.”

He added that the hospitality giant “continued to expand its brand portfolio into high-opportunity segments and markets” and said its upscale conversion brand voco, is seeing “strong owner interest” with five hotels now open and a further 12 signed since launch last year.

He said: “The investments we are making to enable this acceleration in growth are funded through our efficiency programme, which is on track to deliver $125m (£96m) of annual savings by 2020. While macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties remain in some markets, the strong fundamentals of our business give us confidence for the balance of the year.”

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