InterContinental Hotels Group has announced a strong performance for the 12 months to December 31st, revealing revenue per available room grew 4.4 per cent.
Underlying fee revenue also rose eight per cent, to $1.35 billion, while underlying operating profit increased per cent to $650 million.
Alongside a ten per cent increase in total dividends, the company announced a $1.5 billion special dividend.
This will take total returns to shareholders to more than $12 billion since IHG became a standalone business in 2003.
Richard Solomons, IHG chief executive, commented: “Our strong momentum in 2015 was driven by a clear strategy and disciplined execution.
“We delivered our highest room openings since 2009, our best signings since 2008, 11 per cent underlying profit growth and 19 per cent underlying EPS growth.
“Our high quality, fee based, business continues to generate significant operating cash flows following the completion of our major asset disposal programme.
“Reflecting this and our on-going focus on delivering shareholder value, we today announce a $1.5bn special dividend, which will take total funds returned since 2003 to $12bn.
In the Americas, IHG’s largest region, the company saw comparable RevPAR growth of 4.6 per cent, driven by 3.8 per cent rate growth.
RevPAR in the United States increased by 4.7 per cent, with occupancy also continuing to track all-time highs.
Solomons added: “We have strengthened our brand portfolio, adding Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants into the IHG family and accelerating signings across our mainstream and extended stay brands.
“Through effective online distribution management we grew our direct digital revenue more than any other channel, and building on our track record of innovation we are on course to begin the roll out of a next generation cloud based Guest Reservation System in 2017.
“Looking into the medium term, despite economic and political uncertainty in some markets, the prospects for the hotel industry remain good and the strength of our business model gives us the confidence to propose a ten per cent increase in total dividend for the year.”
IHG last year completed the disposal of our major hotel assets, with the sale of the InterContinental Hong Kong and completion of the sale of the InterContinental Paris – Le Grand.
As a result, more than 95 per cent of profits came from our managed franchised business model.
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts also won 28 awards across a variety of categories at the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2015, including Asia’s Leading Luxury Business Hotel Brand, Asia’s Leading Business Hotel Brand and Australasia’s Leading Hotel Brand.