Strong UK trade for hotels group

InterContinental, whose brands include Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express, said annual trading at its UK hotels has been “particularly strong”.

The group, which has a global portfolio of 710,000 rooms and 4,800 hotels, reported that its key measure of revenues per available room (revpar) jumped by 8.9 per cent in the UK in the year to the end of December.

It added that it experienced low double digit growth in the UK provinces and high single digit growth in London.

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Across the business, operating profits slipped 3 per cent to $651m (£423m) in line with forecasts, reflecting hotel disposals and other one-off items.

It added revpar across the group was up 6.1 per cent, including a 7.4 per cent jump in the Americas, a region which accounts for 68 per cent of its operating profit.

Most of the company’s hotels are operated through franchise agreements, with other brands including Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites. It has 303 hotels in the UK.

The company said 21 UK hotels transferred from managed to franchise contracts last year, with more expected to transfer in 2015. It expects UK franchised income from these hotels to rise by a further $3m (£1.9m) in the medium-term as a result of these changes.

In China it reported revpar grew 1.6 per cent over the year, with revpar falling by 2 per cent in the fourth quarter.