IHG reports profit as 2021 trading ‘improved significantly’

IHG Hotels & Resorts returned to profit in 2021 as Covid-19 vaccination rates rose, border restrictions eased and travel demand recovered around the world.

Its group operating profit was $494 million, compared to a loss of $153 million in 2020 – described as “the most challenging year” in the hotel group’s history.

Operating profit from reportable segments rose 144% from $219 million in 2020 to $534 million.

Keith Barr, chief executive at IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “Trading improved significantly in 2021, with revpar (revenue per available room) getting closer to pre-pandemic levels as the year went on, profitability and cash flow rebounding strongly, and signings accelerating in Q4.

“As vaccination rates rise and restrictions are lifted around the world, we are seeing the demand for travel increase.

“With the strong financial improvements delivered in 2021, including more than doubling our operating profit from reportable segments and substantially reducing our net debt, the board is pleased to be recommending the reinstatement of a dividend.

“The signs are encouraging that we are nearing the end of the pandemic, and we are confident in the strength of IHG’s enterprise, market positioning and ability to drive attractive levels of long-term, sustainable growth.”

The improved trading saw revpar recovering to 70% of 2019 levels, and up to 83% in Q4.

The group opened 291 hotels over the year, up 12% on 2020, bringing the global estate to 5,991 hotels. It has also secured the first six properties for its new “luxury and lifestyle” brand, Vignette Collection.

The company has proposed a final dividend of 85.9 cents per share.

IHG operates eight brands in the UK and Ireland including InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Indigo, voco Hotels, Holiday InnHotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites.

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