InterContinental upbeat after beating forecasts

InterContinental Hotels reported favorable current trading with record demand and low supply growth of new hotels on Tuesday which helped the world's biggest hotelier to beat half-year earnings forecasts with a 23 percent rise.

The British group, home to the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental brands, saw stronger bookings and room rates in the United States, which makes around two-thirds of group profit, while it reported strong growth in China.

"Whilst we continue to monitor the uncertain economic outlook, we look forward with confidence in the currently favourable hotel trading environment of record demand and low supply growth in many markets," said new Chief Executive Richard Solomons who took over from Andrew Cosslett on 1 July.

The hotelier, which runs over 4,400 hotels, posted first-half operating profits up 23 per cent at $269m compared to a company compiled consensus of $256m while half-year sales rose 10 percent to $850 million.

The half-year dividend rose 25 per cent to 16.0 US cents.

The group said first-half global revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, grew 6.7 per cent, with an 8.2 percent rise in the United States, while global RevPAR rose 5.6 per cent in July.