Tuesday 23 February 2021 7:55 am

Holiday Inn owner IHG swings to annual loss as Covid takes hold

InterContinental Hotels Group declared 2020 as the most challenging year in its history on Tuesday as the company slumped to an annual loss.

IHG, whose brands include the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe hotel chains, reported a group operating loss of $153m for the year ending 31 December.

This compares with a profit of $630m last year, reinforcing the damage inflicted on hotel firms throughout the pandemic.

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Virus impact

The Holiday Inn owner reported a full year total group revenue of $2,394m, a 48 per cent drop from its 2019 figure.

Keith Barr, CEO of IHG, acknowledged that there are more hurdles ahead.

Barr said: “2020 was clearly the most challenging year in our history, with Covid-19 heavily impacting demand across our industry.

“2021 has begun with many of these challenges still in place, with more meaningful progress towards recovery for the industry unlikely until later in the year and dependent on global vaccine rollouts, lifting of restrictions and an acceleration in economic activity.”

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Despite enduring the most challenging 12 months in its history, IHG remains in good spirits about its long-term prospects.

CEO Barr added: “Having demonstrated resilience and outperformed in 2020, we continue to work closely with owners to capture demand, alongside investing to capitalise on our industry’s long-term growth prospects.

“Our preferred brands in attractive markets and segments, even stronger technology and loyalty platforms, and a substantial proportion of our pipeline being under construction, give us confidence in our ability to achieve industry-leading net rooms growth as the market recovers.”

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