InterContinental Hotels First-Quarter Net Rises on U.S. Sales

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG), owner of the Holiday Inn brand, said first-quarter profit rose 28 percent as travel recovered in the Americas, its biggest market.

Net income rose to $69 million from $54 million a year earlier, the Denham, England-based company said today in a statement. That beat the $62.3 million average estimate of three analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Business and leisure travel is recovering following the global recession of 2009. Revpar, a measure of room rates and occupancy, rose worldwide in the year’s first three months, led by South America, according to researcher STR Global. InterContinental, the world’s largest hotel group by rooms, has most of its almost 650,000 rooms in the Americas.

The company’s global revpar rose 6.9 percent in the quarter, with a nearly 19 percent rise in Greater China and an 8.4 percent increase in the U.S., which had the highest growth since the second quarter of 2006, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cosslett said in the statement.

“We remain confident about the outlook for the rest of the year,” said Cosslett, who will leave the company on June 30.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. said this month revpar for hotels owned or leased for at least a year advanced, while Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. last month reported increases in all regions except Africa and the Middle East, where political unrest affected business.

InterContinental Hotels shares have risen 0.5 percent in London trading, compared with a 13 percent decline in Paris for Accor SA (AC), Europe’s largest hotelier and owner of the Ibis and Sofitel brands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Armorel Kenna in Milan at akenna@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net.

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