InterContinental Hotels Group has pledged to support guests and staff in China following the coronavirus outbreak.
The global hotel giant opened 88 hotels in the region, including its 400th property in Greater China last year.
IHG reported a 63% slump in revenue per available room (revpar) in Hong Kong in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 27% down for the full year.
Overall annual revpar in Greater China fell by 4.5%, with the level down by 10.5% in the final three months of the year.
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“Performance was impacted by macro and geopolitical factors, increased supply growth ahead of demand in some markets, and ongoing unrest in Hong Kong,” IHG said.
UK revpar rose by 1% for the year with London up 3% and the provinces down 1%.
Fourth quarter revpar in the UK fell by 2% with London down 2% due to strong prior year comparables, whilst the provinces were also down 2%, impacted by softer corporate demand, according to IHG.
The Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza parent company reported an 8% rise in operating profit to $630 million last year over 2018.
Chief executive Keith Barr said: “Given the ongoing impact of coronavirus following the outbreak in China, our top priority remains the health and safety of our colleagues, guests and our partners on the ground, and we are doing all we can to support them at this difficult time.
“The fundamentals of our industry remain strong, and our cash-generative, resilient fee-based model, underpinned by a commitment to operate a responsible business, gives us confidence to continue making the strategic investments that will drive our long-term growth.”
He revealed that the company was on track to deliver $125 million of annual savings through a group-wide efficiency programme.
Barr said: “During the year we grew our estate by 5.6%, our highest rate in more than a decade, which helped deliver a 6% increase in underlying operating profit in a weaker revpar environment.
“We increased our ordinary dividend by 10%, and remain committed to returning surplus cash to our shareholders.”
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