InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, the world’s largest provider of hotel accommodation, reported revenue per room that beat analyst expectations and said it will pay a special dividend after selling two properties.
Revenue per available room, a measure of occupancy and rates known as revpar, increased by 6 percent from a year earlier, the Denham, England-based company said in a statement today. That compares with a 4.8 percent average gain in a survey of nine analysts. InterContinental will distribute $750 million to shareholders after selling two U.S. hotels in March.
“We have made an excellent start to the year with our strongest revpar performance in seven quarters,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Solomons said in the statement. “Current trading trends give us confidence for the rest of the year.”
The owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands is benefiting from growing demand for accommodation in the Americas, which account for about half of the company’s sales. Revpar in the region rose 6.6 percent, compared with an average 5.7 percent forecast by eight analysts.
InterContinental closed the sale of the Mark Hopkins San Francisco and an 80 percent stake in the New York Barclay for about $394 million in March.
InterContinental has been divesting properties over the past 10 years as it focuses on operating hotels rather than owning them. The company is considering further property disposals, Chief Financial Officer Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said in February.