Holiday Inn owner sees 13% profit jump

Intercontinental Hotel Group, owner of the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotel brands, has reported profit climbed 13% last year but warns of a “sharp deterioration” in the hotel market this year.

The group, which launched boutique brand Hotel Indigo in the UK last month, says continuing operating profit increased to $535m (£378m) in the year ended 31 December, up from $474m (£335m) in 2007.

Continuing revenue rose 5% to $1.8bn while revenue per available room (revpar), a key indicator of hotel profitability, grew 0.9% globally.

The group adds the $1bn (£706m) relaunch of Holiday Inn is progressing as planned with 350 hotels now operating under new standards.

Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of IHG, says despite the “good set of results” for 2008 “the trading environment is very tough”.

“The sharp deterioration that we reported on last November has continued into 2009 and we see no signs of improvement at this stage,” he says.

He adds the company will look to manage cash and hopes to keep 2009 costs about $30m (£21m) below last year to prepare for the global economic downturn.

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