IHG to launch new luxury and lifestyle brand

In its Q2 earnings report, IHG Hotels and Resorts revealed that it will be launching a new luxury and lifestyle collection brand.

“We’re excited to announce that we’ll soon be launching a new luxury & lifestyle collection brand to provide further choice for guests and owners,” said Keith Barr, CEO, IHG Hotels and Resorts. “Over the last four years we’ve added five new brands to create a portfolio of 16, each targeting a specific segment and enhancing our market reach. The addition of a collection brand will provide high quality independent hotels access to the many benefits of IHG’s system, whilst retaining a property’s distinctive identity. There are currently around 1.5 million independently run rooms in the market segments we are targeting, and we expect the collection to attract more than 100hotels within 10 years.”

Other Q2 highlights

  • Significant improvement in demand over the course of H1, resulting in RevPAR (43)% vs 2019and +20% vs 2020
  • Recovery most advanced in Greater China with Q2 RevPAR (16)% vs 2019; continued improvement in the Americas to (26)%; EMEAA still most challenged at (65)%. Regional performance reflects variations in both vaccine rollout progress and travel restrictions
  • Group Q2 RevPAR (36)% vs 2019, reflecting occupancy 19% pts lower and rate sustained at 87% of 2019 levels; Q2 occupancy of 53% improved through the quarter; June 69% inthe U.S.; 54% Greater China; and 40% EMEAA
  • Operating profit from reportable segments of $188m, +262% vs 2020, (down 54% vs 2019);reported operating profit of $138m, after System Fund result of $(46) million and operating exceptionals of $(4) million
  • Cost reductions in the fee business this year of approximately $75 million versus 2019 on track, and sustainable whilst still investing for growth; majority of these savings delivered inH1; higher investment for growth expected in H2
  • Strong cash conversion resulting in adjusted free cash flow of $147 million (2020: outflow of $66 million), and net cash from operating activities of $173 million (2020: outflow of $14 million)
  • Gross system growth of +5.1% YOY; after removals, including SVC portfolio termination in Q4 2020 and Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza review in H1 2021, net system size growth +0.1% YOY
  • Opened 4,000 rooms (132 hotels) in H1, +46% vs 2020; global estate now at 884,000 rooms (5,994 hotels)
  • Signed 32,600 rooms (203 hotels) in H1, +24% vs 2020; global pipeline now at 274,000 rooms (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,” said Barr. “It has been great to see our teams welcome more and more guests back into our hotels, with domestic leisure bookings leading the way, particularly in the U.S. and China. 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 RevPAR above 2019 levels in July.”

He added, “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 recognized. We opened 132 hotels in the half and signed 203, both sizeable increases on last year. Our focus on the quality of our estate remains extremely high, and we’re making rapid progress with the review of our Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza portfolios to ensure the consistency of these leading brands and that they are well positioned for future growth. With the actions we are taking, and a pipeline that represents more than 30% of our current system size, we expect to return quickly to an industry-leading level of net rooms growth.”