InterContinental Hotels Group dishes out $500m special divi after London boom

Joanna Bourke
InterContinental Hotels Group is behind the Holiday Inn chain

InterContinental Hotels Group on Friday cheered bumper demand from tourists for London rooms and vowed to dish up a $500 million payout for investors.

The FTSE 100 firm behind the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains said revenue per available room in the capital rose 3.6% in the third quarter. The rest of the UK slipped 0.4%.

Finance boss Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said the firm’s famous Park Lane hotel had its strongest-ever summer.

He added there were a number of Middle Eastern tourists in town, as well as guests using London as a base while visiting the Farnborough Air Show.

He said the market here was resilient: “People don’t want to stop enjoying themselves because of terror activities.”

Group revenue per room rose 1%, with strong performances in Russia, which benefited from hosting the World Cup — won by France — and China.

That offset a slowdown in the US, which did not match the high demand a year earlier when hurricanes put Americans in need of temporary accommodation.

IHG, led by Keith Barr, will return $500 million to shareholders through a special dividend with share consolidation to be paid in early 2019.