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23 Feb 2021 | 07:04

InterContinental Hotels swings to full-year loss

(Sharecast News) - InterContinental Hotels has tumbled into the red and scrapped its final dividend after what it called the most challenging year in its history. Total revenues in the year to 31 December came in at $2.39bn, down 48% on 2019, while the operating loss was $153m against a profit of $630m a year previously.

Global revenues per available room - a key metric for the hotel sector - were down 52.5%

Basic losses per share fell to 142.9 cents from earnings per share of 210.4 cents in 2019, while the pre-tax loss was $280m, compared to 2019's profit of $542m.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: "2020 was clearly the most challenging year in our history, with Covid-19 heavily impacting demand across our industry.

"2021 has begun with many of these challenges still in place, with more meaningful progress towards recovery for the industry unlikely until later in the year and dependent on global vaccine rollouts, lifting of restrictions and an acceleration in economic activity."

The blue chip hotel giant, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, among others, said it had seen large revpar declines across all regions from the first quarter onwards, as governments imposed "significant and wide-reaching restrictions" on travel both within and between countries.

Around 15% of IHG's global estate was shut by the end of April. Revpar declined 25% in the first quarter, 75% in the second, 53% in the third and 53% in the fourth.

However, IHG - which has a 5,964-strong estate after opening 285 new hotels during the year - looked to adopt a more cautiously upbeat note going forward.

It said: "While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been severe, our industry has recovered strongly from previous cyclical and exogenous events, and the long-term attractiveness of our industry and future growth potential remains unchanged.

"In the current environment, IHG's weighting towards essential business and domestic leisure travel adds resilience relative to the wider industry."
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