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Gloucestershire Business News

Holiday Inn owner reveals "significantly improved" first half trading

Hotel giant InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, swung to a pre-tax profit in the first half of 2021.

Operating profit for the first half of the year hit $188 million, up from $52 million for the same period in 2020. But figures do remain 54 per cent down on pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

Pre-tax profits jumped to $67 million in the six months to June 30, from a $275 million loss in the first half of 2020.

The group, which operates Holiday Inn hotels in Gloucester and Cheltenham, said regional performance reflected both Covid vaccination rollout progress and the easing of travel restrictions.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: "Trading improved significantly during the first half of 2021, with travel demand returning strongly as vaccines roll out, restrictions ease, and economic activity rebuilds.

"Essential business travel was a key element of our resilience throughout the pandemic, and we are now seeing more group activity and corporate bookings start to come back.

"These trends and the momentum in the business have continued in recent weeks, including in EMEAA where a lifting of travel restrictions in some markets is also now driving improvements in demand.

"With occupancy and rate continuing to improve, nearly 50% of our hotels achieved revenue per available room above 2019 levels in July.

"As more development activity returns to the industry, the strength of IHG's brand portfolio and the power of our scale, systems and platforms for owners is being clearly recognised. We opened 132 hotels in the half and signed 203, both sizeable increases on last year."

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