Business travellers have boosted financial results at InterContinental Hotels, with revenue and operating profit up significantly over the first half of 2010.
Profit for the six months to June stood at $219 million – up 22 per cent from $179 million in the first half of 2009.
Total revenue increased six per cent to £772 million.
In an upbeat statement to markets chief executive Andrew Cosslett said trading had strengthened as the first half progressed, with Asia leading the recovery.
“As anticipated, occupancy drove RevPAR increases, with business travellers returning in greater numbers,” he explained.
“Rates are now stabilising across the world, with most markets seeing rate growth towards the end of the first half.
“The economic environment does remain uncertain, however, with short booking windows and limited visibility.”
Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) at the group – the largest in the world - was up 3.9 per cent overall and 7.4 per cent in the second quarter.
China led the way, with a RevPAR increase of 29.4 per cent for the half year.
InterContinental also pointed by the relaunch of Holiday Inn as another area of growth for the organisation – with the $1 billion move “on track”.
Some 2,585 hotels are now operating under the new Holiday Inn standards, 76 per cent of the total estate, with the relaunched hotels performing at the top end of expectations.
InterContinental presently operates 3,400 Holiday Inn locations around the world.
The British firm – which also operates the Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands - said it had opened 148 hotels and signed up 130 hotels despite the tough financing environment.
Shares in InterContinental have nearly tripled from a low of 434p in March 2009, trading this morning at 1,124p - valuing the group at £3.2 billion.