Barely a week since acquiring Six Senses Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group has itchy feet again – this time teasing the launch later this year of a new midscale all-suite brand.
In its preliminary full-year results for the 12 months to 31 December, 2018, IHG informed investors of the upcoming brand launch, adding the new brand will build on “existing mainstream strength” targeted at an USD$18 billion industry segment. The company drew on a statistic saying guest and owner supply of the all-suite accommodation style had plummeted by 70 per cent in the last four years while demand was high.
The year’s financial results saw InterContinental Hotels Group record a six per cent rise in total group revenue before tax over USD$27.4 billion. Operating profit was down seven per cent to USD$670 million while more than USD$300 million had been shaved from the company’s debt levels. The group as a whole now numbered more than 837,000 rooms worldwide.
Australia posted its best ever performance for IHG in 2018, with 3,000 rooms across 133 hotels signed or opened. Globally and group-wide, IHG eclipsed its signings record for the first time in a decade, with nearly 100,000 new rooms signed, with nearly half now part of or soon to join the Holiday Inn brand.
Chief Executive Officer, Keith Barr, said the company had made excellent progress on the strategic initiatives he set out a year earlier, just after having assumed the top job.
“The investments we have made have had a significant impact, allowing us to further evolve our established brands, move quickly to strengthen our portfolio both organically and by acquisition, and create real momentum in our business.
“We also further strengthened our owner proposition and revenue delivery enterprise, with the successful global roll-out of IHG Concerto, featuring our innovative new Guest Reservation System.
“This gives IHG the most sophisticated, cloud-based platform in the industry, with further enhancements set to be deployed in 2019.”
Barr also hinted at new features to be rolled out in 2019 to the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program, with enhancements aimed at simplifying access to variable point pricing for general managers and hotel owners.