Significant growth, with a worldwide increase of 5.2% in revenue per available room (revpar), has been reported by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in their preliminary results for 2012.
The strong revpar figure for the 12 months to 31 December 2012 was led by the United States' growth of 6.3%, while Europe's increase was a more conservative 1.7%. However, revpar across the year grew by 2.5% in the UK, which was boosted by the opening of the InterContinental London Westminster, the second hotel in the capital for the brand. Operating profit across the group grew by 10% to $614m (£397m).
Forty-eight new hotels, representing 7,000 bedroom were signed for Europe during the year, up 22% on 2011, while 39 hotels (5,000 bedrooms) opened, which is the highest number of hotels openings in the region for the last four years.
Richard Solomons, chief executive of IHG, said that despite the tough financing environment throughout 2012, the company still signed on average one hotel a day into its pipeline, as well as launch two new brands: Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts for China and the wellness-focused Even Hotels in the USA.
"This reflects the excellent relationship we enjoy with our owners and further strengthens our foundation for high quality growth," he explained.
"IHG's proven strategy and resilient business model position us for further good performance in 2013. The 16% increase in our dividend demonstrates the confidence we have in our ability to deliver sustained high quality growth, as we prepare to celebrate our 10th anniversary as a standalone business."
In a current trading update, IHG has also reported that while global revpar was up 6.6% in January 2013, it declined by 0.1% in Europe.
The company operates more than 4,600 hotels with nearly 676,000 bedrooms across nine brands in nearly 100 countries. In the UK, IHG has 293 hotels (41,037 bedrooms).