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RevPAR falls 19.8% in April
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) reported a 43% fall in operating profits for the three months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008.
The group, the largest hotel company in the world in terms of rooms, said its operating profits for Q1 were $72m compared with $127m last year.
IHG, whose brands include InterContinental and Holiday Inn, said continuing revenue for the three months fell by 24% from $448m in 2008 to $342m this year.
Across all it hotels, IHG said revPAR (revenue per available room) fell 19.8% in April. Regionally, revPAR for the month fell 18.8% in the Americas, 22.4% in EMNEA and 20.6% in Asia Pacific.
But the group said that while rates remained under pressure, "no further deterioration in demand is visible in forward bookings."
IHG said that in Q1, revPAR in EMEA fell by 11.6%.The Middle East was "resilient", recording a drop of 2.3%.
But it said continued growth in the Middle East was offset by a less good performance in the UK.
In the UK, revPAR for the three months fell by 0.9% while continuing revenues fell by 24%.
Operating profit for the region fell by 20% from $30m in 2008 to $24m this year.
Profits from owned or leased properties in the region fell from $4m to $1m "with a strong performance at the InterContinental London Park Lane being offset by the impact of a weak market on the InterContinental Paris Le Grand."
During the three months, IHG said that 12,440 (98 hotels) had been added to its portfolio with a further 10,551 rooms (76 hotels) in the pipeline.
Andrew Cosslett, IHG's ceo, said: "As expected the start to the year has been very challenging for the industry.
"Occupancy showed signs of stabilisation in the quarter, but room rates, which held up well during 2008, declined under the pressure of a very competitive market.
"Our brands continue to perform strongly across all three of our regions, and in the US our RevPAR outperformance has improved further from the last quarter of 2008, mostly as a result of our portfolio bias to midscale hotels, primarily Holiday Inn.
"The lack of liquidity in the lending markets has slowed our deal pace but we still signed 76 hotels in the quarter. We also opened close to 100 hotels, more than in the same period last year."
But Mr Cosslett warned that the outlook remained "tough."