The Crowne Plaza brand is to be revamped, the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) announced today as it published a strong set of full-year results.
IHG - the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms - said that there was huge potential to make improvements to the upscale brand, which is the globe's fourth-largest behind Hilton, Marriott and Sheraton.
Details of the improvements, which will cover everything from bedding and room service to staff training, are yet to be finalised, but have been inspired by the completion of a £625m global relaunch of its sister brand, Holiday Inn.
More than 3,000 Holiday Inn hotels are now operating under new brand standards, with properties that have been relaunched for more than one year achieving 5% higher revenue per available room (revpar) than non-relaunched hotels.
Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of IHG, said the 2010 company results were "excellent" and had, after a slow start to the year, exceeded all expectations.
Total gross revenue was up 11% to £11.7b, with the annual revpar growth of 6.2% rising to 8% in the final quarter of the year.
"By focusing on our brands and using our scale, we delivered 6% growth in revpar," Cosslett said. "We signed more rooms into our pipeline than in 2009 and, despite the planned exceptional number of removals to drive up quality, we grew the number of rooms in our systems, led by a 12% increase in China."
The growth in results was largely driven by the return of the business traveller, while the number of leisure guests remained steady.
Continuing with its policy of remaining asset light, IHG today announced that it is putting up for sale the 688-bedroom InterContinental New York Barclay hotel - one of only 15 properties which remain company-owned.
Business at the InterContinental London Park Lane - one of the company-owned hotels - was particularly strong during 2010, with revpar growth of 15%. A second InterContinental hotel in London will open in Westminster in spring 2012.
IHG currently operates more than 640,000 bedrooms in more than 4,430 hotels in around 100 countries. Its brands include InterContinental, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites.
By Janet Harmer
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