InterContinental set to return $750m to shareholders

Guy Bentley
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Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said it is pleased with its start to the year reporting a growth in revenue per available room of six per cent for the first quarter.

The rise was driven by an increase in occupancy 2.4 percentage points and a rise in the average daily rate of 1.9 per cent. The first quarter saw 9,000 rooms opened taking net system size to 182,000.

The Group completed two major asset sales in March and announced it would be returning $750m to shareholders through a special dividend. IHG is reviewing opportunities for further asset disposals.

Richard Solomons, chief executive of IHG, said:

We have made an excellent start to the year with our strongest RevPAR performance in seven quarters and our best first quarter for pipeline signings in six years. This reflects the continued growth momentum in the business and the strong preference for our portfolio of brands from both owners and guests