Holiday Inn owner reports 44% profit drop

Intercontinental Hotels Group says first quarter profit fell 44% but that the relaunch of its flagship Holiday Inn brand is progressing well.

The hotelier, which also owns the InterContinental and Crowne Plaza chains, says operating profit dropped to $72m (£47.3m) in the three months to March 31 against revenues of $342m (£224.8m), which dropped 24% on the same period last year.

Andrew Cosslett, IHG’s chief executive, says despite the slump in profit, the firm’s brands “continue to perform strongly” in a “challenging” year to date for the industry.

He says the first Holiday Inn hotels to relaunch have outperformed by 5% in terms of Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR), a key industry performance indicator, adding that it remains committed to completing the overhaul by the end of 2010.

In February, the group launched its boutique brand Hotel Indigo in the UK with the first site opening in London Paddington.

The brand launched in North America in 2004 and the arrival of the London branch signalled the start of the global brand roll-out. There are 56 hotels currently planned for development.

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