StockMarketWire.com - InterContinental Hotels swung to a profit as easing pandemic restrictions supported a recovery in travel and boosted hotel demand.

For the six months ended 30 June, pre-tax profit was $67 million compared with a loss of $275 million last year, while revenue fell 16% to $1.18 billion.

The company reported a 'significant' improvement in demand over the course of H1, resulting in RevPAR, or room revenue, down 43% from 2019, but up 20% versus 2020.

'Recovery [was] most advanced in Greater China with Q2 RevPAR (16)% vs 2019; [there was] continued improvement in the Americas to (26)%; [while] EMEAA [was] still most challenged at (65)%,' the company said.

The company opened 17,400 rooms, or 132 hotels in H1, up 46% vs 2020, with the global estate now at 884,000 rooms, or 5,994 hotels. The hotel group signed 32,600 rooms, or 203 hotels in H1, up 24% vs 2020, with the global pipeline now at 274,000 rooms, or 1,805 hotels.

'Trading improved significantly during the first half of 2021, with travel demand returning strongly as vaccines roll out, restrictions ease, and economic activity rebuilds,' the company said.

The company didn't declare an interim dividend.

'The actions we have taken during the last 18 months position us well to exceed our pre-pandemic level of growth and profitability. While there is a risk of trading volatility in the balance of the year, and discretionary business trips, group bookings and international travel will take time to fully recover, we are confident in the strength of IHG's future prospects,' it added.

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