InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) ramped up its room growth in the third quarter of this year, with 27,000 rooms signed and 19,000 rooms opened, up 70% year-on-year and the group's strongest Q3 pace for each in a decade.
This includes the rooms associated with its 51% acquisition of Regent Hotels & Resorts, which added 2,000 rooms, and the acquisition of the Principal brand earlier this year, which added 1,700 rooms, with a further 500 to be added.
The Principal London is due to be relaunched as the Kimpton Fitzroy in the coming weeks. The group's overall pipeline now stands at 267,000 rooms.
150 hotels have signed up to its Avid brand in the Americas with the first property now open in the US. Regent Hotels & Resorts has had its first signing since IHG acquired a 51% stake in it in July, and its upscale Voco brand is on track for more than 15 signings by the end of the year.
Chief executive Keith Barr also announced $500m (£384m) is to be returned to shareholders by means of special dividend with share consolidation, to be paid early next year.
Meanwhile, IHG's global Q3 revenue per available room was up 1%, 2.7% over the year to date. In the UK, revpar was up 1.1%, with strong demand in London (up 3.6%) from leisure guests and the biennial air show, offsetting softer occupancy in the Provinces (down 0.4%).
Barr said: "We delivered a good third quarter performance. Our strategic focus on improving our rooms growth yielded strong results, driving net system size up 5.1% and our best performance for signings and openings in a decade.
"The fundamentals for our industry remain strong. We are confident in the outlook for the remainder of the year and in our ability to deliver industry-leading net rooms growth over the medium term."