IHG profits surge fuelled by US and China

Hotelier InterContinental Hotels Group reported a 33 per cent increase in third-quarter operating profit, at the top end of expectations, driven by strong growth in China and the United States.

InterContinental, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, said operating profit rose to $153m (£95m) in the quarter to end September, from $115m the year before.

Market expectations had ranged between $138m and $153m, according to a company-supplied poll of nine analysts.

"The economic environment continues to be uncertain, but we remain confident in our future due to our resilient business model, robust balance sheet and powerful brand portfolio, combined with low medium supply growth in many markets," Chief Executive Richard Solomons said in a statement.

Rival Accor said in October it had yet to see signs of an economic slowdown and expected steady growth to continue in the fourth quarter.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, rose by 6.4 per cent, including a 2.8 per cent rise in room rates, boosted by 10.8 percent growth in China and eight per cent in the United States, where the company said it benefited from the relaunch of its Holiday Inn brand.

Total revenue rose by 11 per cent to $467m.