LONDON May 2 InterContinental Hotels Group
said it would return $750 million to shareholders and
was considering selling off more hotels as it posted its
strongest room revenue performance in seven quarters.
IHG, which runs 4,600 hotels and is home to the Crowne
Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental brands, said on Friday
first-quarter global revenue per available room (RevPAR) - a key
industry measure - grew 6.0 percent, helped by 6.6 percent
growth in its core North American market.
Having completed the sale of its InterContinental Mark
Hopkins San Francisco hotel and an 80 percent interest in
InterContinental New York Barclay in the first quarter for a
total of $394m, in return for long term management contracts,
the firm said it would pay a special dividend of $750 million.
That takes total funds returned to shareholders to $10.3
billion since 2003. The group said it was reviewing
opportunities for further asset disposals in light of strong
demand for prime hotels globally.
(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Sarah Young)