InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, is showing signs of a slight economic recovery with global revenue per available room (revpar) growing for the first time in 18 months.
The company's first quarter results for 2010 show a revpar growth of 0.2%, including growth in March of 4.1%.
Asia Pacific was the strongest region with revpar increasing by 10%, including a 22% increase in China.
Recent trading is even better with a global revpar growth during April of 5.2% (13% in Asia Pacific and 5% in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 3.7% in Americas).
The net debt of the company is $1.1b (£744m), down $0.2b on the position at 31 March 2009.
Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of IHG, said that with the early signs of recovery, he is feeling confident about the outlook and the ability of IHG to grow market share.
"Business travel is returning although at this stage mainly to the luxury end of the market which was most affected by the recession," he said. "We expect the more resilient midscale sector to benefit from this trend as the year progresses. We are encouraged by the return to growth but rates remain under pressure in many markets, booking windows are short and visibility is limited."
IHG owns, manages leases and franchises more than 4,400 hotels and 650,000 guest rooms in 100 countries. Its brands include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo.
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