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Coronavirus: Holiday Inn owner IHG plunges to £210m loss

The sign for the Holiday Inn hotel near Heathrow Airport in London, which has been reserved by the Government for people arriving from abroad to self-isolate.
Revenue at the Holiday Inn owner during the six months to the end of June fell by 45% to $1.25bn. Photo: PA

Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) swung to a pre-tax loss of $275m (£209.5m) in the six months to the end of June, as the group’s finances were “significantly impacted” by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotels group said on Tuesday, however, that it was “well positioned” to take advantage of a potential recovery in the travel and tourism industry.

“The impact of this crisis on our industry cannot be underestimated, but we are seeing some very early signs of improvement as restrictions ease and traveller confidence returns,” the company said, citing its “resilient” business model and leading brands.

“This gives us confidence in our ability to meet the needs of our guests and owners, and to emerge strongly when markets recover,” it said.

READ MORE: UK unemployment remains near record lows even as extra 80,000 jobs lost

Revenue during the six-month period fell by 45% to $1.25bn (£950m), largely due to a a 52% decline in average room revenue.

The company’s revenue per available room — a preferred metric in the hotel industry — fell by 75% its second quarter, a better performance than rivals Marriot and Hilton, each of which saw declines of more than 80% in the same period.

In addition to the low-budget Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels operates the Crowne Plaza, Regent, and Kimpton hotel brands.

The company said that a majority of its hotels had now reopened across the world, and that it had opened 90 new hotels in the first half of the year.

READ MORE: Heathrow CEO warns of tens of thousands of job losses

InterContinental Hotels said that domestic travel remained the most resilient as governments around the world encourage people to holiday within their own countries.

The group pointed to the Holiday Inn brand, suggesting it positioned the company well as demand returns in its key markets.

“Whilst COVID-19 has had an understandable impact on development activity in the period and a level of impact may well also continue for some time to come, the longer term trends and IHG's strong positioning in the market have supported continued opening and signing activity through the first half of the year,” it said.