Political unrest in Hong Kong hits Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels saw third-quarter sales slip as it was hit by political unrest in Hong Kong.

The hotel group, also runs the Crowne Plaza brand, saw shares dip in early trading after it said revenue per available room slumped by 0.8% in the three months to September.

InterContinental reported a particular slump in its Greater China market, as revenue per room in Hong Kong dived 36% due to the political unrest.

In mainland China, revenue per room fell by 2% on the back of a reduction in business meetings.

However, the company said it remained “confident” for the rest of the year despite the “weaker” sales environment.

InterContinental said it also benefited from expanding its number of rooms, as it opened 13,000 new rooms across its portfolio during the quarter.

In the UK, the revenue per room increased by 1% on the back of a 3% increase in London, driven by an rise in international demand amid weakness in the value of the pound.

Continental Europe also delivered 1% growth, although it saw a 7% decline in Germany for the period.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: “Despite the weaker revenue per available room environment, and the challenges some of our markets are currently experiencing, we remain confident in our financial outcome for the rest of the year.

“Our broad geographical spread combined with the resilience of our asset-light, cash generative model, our disciplined approach to cost management and the continued execution against our strategic initiatives positions us well for the future.”

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “It seems only natural that one of the world’s biggest hotel groups has had a tough time of late, given the concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth.

“Weaker economic conditions are bad news for big hotels catering for business travellers.”

Shares in the company fell by 2.4% to 4,621.5p on Friday morning.

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