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IHG reports 6% profit increase as shareholder pushes for merger

05 August 2014 by
IHG reports 6% profit increase as shareholder pushes for merger

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has today reported an underlying operating profit increase of 6% in its half year results, as a shareholder in the company has appointed financial advisors to undertake a full strategic review of the group.

Marcato Capital Management (MCM), a San Francisco-based investment company that has a stake of around 4% in IHG, said it had retained Houlihan Lokey to help undertake the review "for enhancing shareholder value" of the hotel group, which operates 4,732 hotels worldwide.

Earlier this year, MCM urged IHG to pursue a merger with another major hotel operator as it would create "a unique opportunity to reshape the global hospitality industry".

Meanwhile, Richard Solomons (pictured), chief executive of IHG, described the company's latest results as "a strong first half performance", allowing it to increase the interim dividend by 9%.

Revenue was down by 3% to $908m (£538m), with operating profit up 6% to $301m (£178m). Trading during the first half of the year was particularly strong in the UK with revenue up 8.7%.

Solomons added: We have had our best half for signings in six years, underpinning our future growth prospects and demonstrating owners' preference for our brands. Openings included the first two EVEN Hotels in the US, a major milestone for this new brand, which satisfies a previously unmet guest need in the wellness segment."

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