Updates from InterContinental Hotels Group PLC

InterContinental Hotel Group, owners of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, will launch a new brand targeting the luxury leisure market to keep up with competitors as growth across the group slows.

IHG announced Tuesday that it would announce the new brand “in the coming weeks,” but would expand its portfolio of high-end hotel chains like Six Senses and Kimpton, which account for nearly a third of group sales.

It hopes independent hoteliers struggling with months of closure during the pandemic will sign up as they seek the marketing power of bigger brands as travel begins to rebound.

The group said existing hoteliers who joined their brands had represented a quarter of their new hotels in the past 18 months.

Compared to rivals Marriott and Hilton, IHG has reported much slower growth rates at its hotel property. It increased the number of hotels in the first half of the year by 0.1 percent compared to rates of around 3 to 5 percent at other hotel companies.

In 2019, the net growth of IHG’s hotel complex was around 5 percent, which it said was “the strongest in over a decade”.

However, IHG said it had checked around 200 Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza branded hotels and closed 56 since the beginning of the year.

Revenue recovery was slowest in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, despite the rapid roll-out of vaccines in Europe, with revenue per available room – the metric preferred by the industry – 65 percent lower than 2019 levels in the region, compared to 16 percent below 2019 in greater China and 26 percent in America in the six months to the end of June.

The group reported total sales of $ 325 million, up 24 percent over the same period in 2020, and posted pre-tax profit of $ 67 million, compared to a loss of $ 275 million the previous year.