InterContinental Hotels Group says don't panic about weaker London sales

Joanna Bourke
InterContinental Hotels Group is behind more than 5400 sites

London may have dragged down InterContinental Hotels Group’s UK first-half performance, but it is just a blip, the owner of the Crowne Plaza chain insisted on Tuesday, as it cheered international growth.

The FTSE 100 firm behind more than 5400 hotels, revealed revenue per room dropped 1.4% in the capital in the six months to June. The figure for Britain was down 0.2%.

Finance chief Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said shareholders should not be worried, and predicted a better second half.

He added: “The reason for the fall is because we were never going to match the 9% London growth seen in the first half of 2017. That period benefited from a massive influx of tourists in town, attracted by the weaker pound. The market has now returned to more normal levels.”

His comments came as IHG posted a 3.7% rise in group revenue per room. Total revenues climbed 7.6% to $2.1 billion (£1.6 billion).

The hotels operator, led by Keith Barr, pointed to strong growth in China, and improved performances in the US and continental Europe.

It saw pre-tax profits decrease to $303 million from $357 million, partly due to exceptional costs.

It opened 22,000 new rooms during the period. Its growth plan includes rolling out its lower-priced US brand “avid” globally, and buying luxury boutiques operators.

The company raised its interim dividend by 10% to 36.3 cents.

Shares in IHG fell 100p to 4649p.