November 8, 2011 / 9:02 AM / 8 years ago

InterContinental profit at top of expectations

A porter passes a sign for the InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane in London August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - World No.1 hotelier InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG.L) reported a 33 percent increase in third-quarter operating profit, at the top end of expectations, driven by strong growth in China and the United States.

InterContinental, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, said on Tuesday operating profit rose to $153 million in the quarter to end September, from $115 million the year before.

Market expectations had ranged between $138 million and $153 million, according to a company-supplied poll of nine analysts.

“The economic environment continues to be uncertain, but we remain confident in our future due to our resilient business model, robust balance sheet and powerful brand portfolio, combined with low medium supply growth in many markets,” Chief Executive Richard Solomons said in a statement.

Rival Accor (ACCP.PA) said in October it had yet to see signs of an economic slowdown and expected steady growth to continue in the fourth quarter.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, rose by 6.4 percent, including a 2.8 percent rise in room rates, boosted by 10.8 percent growth in China and 8 percent in the United States, where the company said it benefited from the relaunch of its Holiday Inn brand.

Total revenue rose by 11 percent to $467 million.

Shares in InterContinental Hotels closed on Monday at 1,095 pence, valuing the business at 3.18 billion pounds.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Adveith Nair and David Holmes

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