InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (LON:IHG) has announced its Full Year Results to 31 December 2022.
|●||Further significant improvement in trading: sequential improvement each quarter in global RevPAR vs 2019|
|●||Strongest recovery in Americas, with RevPAR +3.3% vs 2019 (Q4 +9.0%); EMEAA improving to (7.5)% (Q4 +8.8%); Greater China (38)% (Q4 (42)%) due to the scale of travel restrictions that were still in place|
|●||Average daily rate +18% vs 2021, +8% vs 2019; occupancy +9%pts vs 2021, (7)%pts vs 2019|
|●||Iberostar Beachfront Resorts agreement signed in November 2022, with first 12.4k rooms added to IHG’s system in December 2022; continue to explore further opportunities with Exclusive Partners to drive additional system growth|
|●||Gross system growth +5.6% YOY; adjusted net system size growth of +4.3% YOY|
|●||Opened and added 49.4k rooms (269 hotels); global estate now at 912k rooms (6,164 hotels)|
|●||Signed 80.3k rooms (467 hotels); global pipeline now at 281k rooms (1,859 hotels), +3.9% YOY|
|●||Fee margin of 56.2%, +6.6%pts vs 2021 (+2.1%pts vs 2019’s 54.1%)|
|●||Operating profit from reportable segments of $828m, +55% vs 2021; this was held back by $17m adverse currency impact and included $5m of costs related to Iberostar agreement|
|●||Reported operating profit of $628m, after $105m System Fund reported loss and $95m net exceptional charges|
|●||Net cash from operating activities of $646m (2021: $636m), with adjusted free cash flow1 of $565m (2021: $571m); net debt movement includes $482m share buybacks, $233m dividends and a $230m net foreign exchange benefit|
|●||Adjusted EBITDA1 of $896m, +42% vs 2021; net debt:adjusted EBITDA ratio reduced to 2.1x|
|●||Final dividend of 94.5¢ proposed, +10% vs 2021, resulting in a total dividend for the year of 138.4¢|
|●||Share buyback programme to return an additional $750m of surplus capital in 2023|
Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, International Hotels Group Hotels & Resorts, said:
“In 2022 we saw demand return strongly in most of our markets, pushing Group RevPAR back close to 2019 levels and fee margin ahead. It’s particularly pleasing that in the second half of the year we exceeded 2019 levels for both RevPAR and profitability. Looking to 2023, while there are economic uncertainties, we expect continued strong leisure demand in many markets, alongside further return of business and group travel and the ongoing reopening of China.
Our strategy over the last five years has significantly strengthened our brand portfolio and seen substantial investment to innovate our technology and distribution platforms. Our recent agreement with Iberostar adds our 18th brand and substantially increases our resort and all-inclusive presence, and we continue to explore further new opportunities like this for additional growth through exclusive partners. Meanwhile, the other six brands we have added since 2017 already contribute more than 10% of our pipeline, and our Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio is now 13% of our system size and 20% of our pipeline as we increase our exposure to higher fee income segments.
In total, we signed 467 hotels in 2022 and opened 269, which led to net system growth of over 4%. The further 1,800 hotels in our pipeline represents future growth of over 30% of today’s system size. The Holiday Inn Brand Family, with its global leadership position, delivered around a third of our hotel signings and half of openings.
IHG’s enterprise platform strength helps our hotel owners capture demand and grow their business, with enterprise contribution increasing in 2022 to represent 77% of their total room revenue. Critical to this was the launch of our new mobile app during the year, which has led to mobile now accounting for more than half of all digital bookings, while the transformation of our IHG One Rewards programme has delivered significant improvements in both enrolments and loyalty contribution. Alongside substantial investments in revenue-generating technology platforms to support future growth, we have also continued to invest in our internal systems to maintain the health of the business, and in capabilities to help IHG and our hotel owners meet our 2030 Journey to Tomorrow responsible business commitments.
IHG’s overarching ambition is to deliver industry-leading growth in our scale, enterprise platform and performance, doing so sustainably for all stakeholders including our hotel owners, guests and society as a whole. We are a stronger and more resilient company than ever before, and we are proud of the advancements made in each of our strategic priorities. Reflecting the confidence we have in continued growth and the highly cash generative nature of our business, the Board is pleased to be recommending a 10% increase in the final dividend in respect of 2022 and to announce a further share buyback programme to return an additional $750m to shareholders in 2023.”
Presentation for analysts and institutional shareholders:
A conference call and webcast presented by Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, Chief Financial Officer and Group Head of Strategy, will commence at 9:30am (London time) on 21 February 2023 and can be accessed at www.ihgplc.com/en/investors/results-and-presentations or directly on https://www.investis-live.com/ihg/63c5626aaeebb912002bff90/egad
Analysts and institutional shareholders wishing to ask questions should use the following dial-in details for a Q&A facility:
|UK:||0800 640 6441|
|UK local:||0203 936 2999|
|US:||+1 855 979 6654|
|US local:||+1 646 664 1960|
|All other locations:||+44 203 936 2999|
|Passcode:||63 05 76|
An archived webcast of the presentation is expected to be available later on the day of the results and will remain available for the foreseeable future, accessed at www.ihgplc.com/en/investors/results-and-presentations. An audio replay will also be available for 7 days using the following details:
|UK:||0203 936 3001|
|US:||+1 845 709 8569|
|All other locations:||+44 203 936 3001|
|Passcode:||92 39 56|
The full release and supplementary data will be available on our website from 7:00am (London time) on 21 February. The web address is www.ihgplc.com/en/investors/results-and-presentations.
Attractive long-term growth drivers
Hotel industry demand characteristics exhibit both resiliency and structural growth
|●||The industry has previously demonstrated relative resiliency during economic downturns, particularly in recurring essential business travel and in chainscales such as upper midscale, which is where IHG is weighted. Through the pandemic, a sustained level of demand was shown, followed by a rapid recovery.|
|●||While the economic outlook has some continued challenges and uncertainties, current conditions, including employment, consumer savings and business activity levels, remain supportive to the industry.|
|●||Consumer surveys have indicated travel to be among the most resilient of discretionary spending areas, while business surveys have indicated a continued return of travel activity and the potential for greater hotel use to support hybrid and flexible working arrangements.|
|●||Historically, industry revenue has outpaced global economic growth in 18 out of 23 years between 2000 and 2022, with a CAGR of +3.3% (versus +2.8% CAGR for GDP). Prior to the pandemic, there had been 10 consecutive years of RevPAR outperforming global economic growth.|
|●||Reflecting the strength of demand recovery, Oxford Economics expect global hotel room nights consumed to be back above 2019 levels by 2024 and growth at a CAGR of +6% from 2022 through to 2032. The US market alone is forecast to increase from 2.1 billion to 2.8 billion room nights over this time period, and China to be even faster at an +11% CAGR.|
The need for additional hotel supply remains an enduring industry characteristic
|●||In the short term, Covid restrictions challenged the ability to complete and open new build hotels, with this being an ongoing issue in Greater China through 2022. Other markets have also seen the temporary impact on the industry from costs and availability of construction crews and materials, and the macro-economic outlook affecting the availability and cost of real estate financing.|
|●||Longer-term, and in addition to the industry’s RevPAR growth, further new hotel supply will still be needed to satisfy the demands of growing populations, rising middle classes and the inherent desire to travel to physically interact and for new experiences.|
|●||Global hotel room net new supply growth has been at a CAGR of 2.0% over the 10 years from 2012 to 2022, and was 1.2% in the US, according to STR; their forecasts of the industry pipeline indicate similar new supply growth rates into the future.|
|●||Global leading hotel brands are expected to continue their long-term trend of taking market share. In periods when developers are adding less new supply, leading branded players can also accelerate conversion opportunities.|
Key trends in recent trading
Strong return of demand
|●||As Covid-related travel restrictions have lifted, demand has swiftly recovered; IHG’s group RevPAR exceeded 2019 levels each month from July onwards; by Q4, group RevPAR was 4% ahead of 2019 levels, with the Americas and EMEAA both 9% ahead, offsetting Greater China at (42)% due to restrictions still being in place in that market.|
|●||Leisure travel has seen the earliest pattern of recovery, followed by the growing return of business and group travel.|
|●||The US, our single largest country market, is amongst the most recovered, and other geographic markets are expected to exhibit similar drivers of recovery; by Q4, the revenue performance by category in IHG’s US estate was:|
|– Leisure 16% ahead of 2019, reflecting 2% more room nights and rate 14% ahead;|
|– Business 5% ahead of 2019, reflecting 2% fewer room nights and rate 7% ahead; and|
|– Groups 7% behind 2019, reflecting 13% fewer room nights and rate 7% ahead.|
Sustained volume and pricing improvements
|●||By Q4, IHG’s group RevPAR of 4% ahead of 2019 levels reflected occupancy (5)%pts behind and ADR up +13%; the Americas is the most recovered region, with occupancy just (1.5)%pts below 2019 and ADR +11.7% ahead.|
|●||Leisure bookings were generally strong throughout 2022; there have been no clear signs of consumer price resistance or cooling of leisure demand in the most recent months of trading, and industry commentators are expecting a backdrop of still some pent-up desire to resume travel for leisure purposes, as well as the benefit in 2023 of China travel restrictions lifting.|
|●||The recovery in business demand is expected to continue, with progress in the US indicating the potential elsewhere; our corporate rate negotiations for 2023 are expected to support further increases in ADR.|
|●||Groups & Meetings are also expected to see continued recovery in 2023.|
|●||The overall industry has been experiencing both the opportunity and the need for higher room rates, given the return of demand and inflation pressures; sustainability of these is anticipated in industry forecasts:|
|– STR forecast US industry RevPAR to be 12% ahead of 2019 levels in 2023 and 25% ahead by 2025;|
|– this assumes broadly flat ADR in real terms, with growth driven by nominal ADR; and|
|– occupancy for the US industry is forecast by STR to be restored to over 96% of 2019 levels in 2023, and to be fully recovered by 2025.|
|●||Our industry has relatively limited forward visibility in most parts of the demand mix due to typically short booking windows, and shorter term reductions in demand could reoccur; however, the industry is also characterised by an ability to rapidly adjust prices according to the demand and inflationary environment, and by long-term structural growth drivers in both demand and the need for additional new hotel supply.|
IHG strongly positioned to drive growth and shareholder value
IHG sees a continuation of its strong track record of driving growth and shareholder value through our:
|●||Asset light, fee-based, predominantly franchised model, which has high barriers to entry in an industry that provides long-term structural growth characteristics in both demand (RevPAR) and new supply (system growth); reflecting IHG’s success in capturing growth, ahead of the temporary disruption caused by Covid, in the decade through to 2019 IHG delivered:|
|– +3.9% average annual growth in RevPAR, and|
|– +3.2% average annual growth in net system size.|
|●||Chainscale and geographic diversification, with exposure to a mix of resilient and high growth market segments.|
|●||Well-invested portfolio that includes market leading brands, and an enterprise platform through which our hotel owners leverage IHG’s scale, distribution channels, leading technology and loyalty programmes.|
|●||Existing system of over 6,000 hotels that will grow fee income through long term, sustainable RevPAR expansion.|
|●||Pipeline of over 1,800 further hotels that will deliver multi-year growth in system size.|
|●||Efficient cost base, with a proven track record of leveraging this to increase margins whilst investing appropriately to support future growth, and benefiting from a model where fee income is largely linked to hotel revenues; over the decade through to 2019, IHG has delivered:|
|– ~130bps average annual improvement in fee margin, and|
|– +11.4% CAGR in Adjusted EPS.|
|●||Strong cash generation, from which to further invest in our brands and enterprise platform to optimise growth, fund a sustainably growing dividend and return excess funds to shareholders; since 2003, IHG has returned over $14bn in total to IHG’s shareholders, consisting of:|
|– $2.6bn through ordinary dividends (representing a CAGR of +11.0% through to 2019), and|
|– $11.7bn via additional returns to shareholders.|
In 2022, IHG has achieved RevPAR back close to 2019 levels and ahead in the second half, delivered adjusted net system size growth above the long-run average, expanded the fee margin to 210bps above the prior peak, and restored the ordinary dividend along with resuming the return of additional surplus capital to shareholders through buybacks.
Capital allocation: growing the ordinary dividend and returning surplus capital through buybacks
IHG’s asset-light business model is highly cash generative through the cycle and enables us to invest in our brands and strengthen our enterprise platform. We have a disciplined approach to capital allocation which ensures that the business is appropriately invested in, whilst looking to maintain an efficient and conservative balance sheet.
The Board’s perspectives on the uses of cash generated by the business are unchanged: ensuring the business is investing to optimise growth that will drive long-term shareholder value creation, funding a sustainably growing dividend, and then returning surplus capital to shareholders, whilst targeting our leverage ratio within a range of 2.5-3.0x net debt:adjusted EBITDA to maintain an investment grade credit rating.
The Board is proposing a final dividend of 94.5¢ in respect of 2022, which is growth of +10% on 2021. An interim dividend of 43.9¢ was resumed and paid in October 2022. The total dividend for the year would therefore be 138.4¢, representing an increase of +61% on 2021 as no interim dividend was paid in the prior year. The ex-dividend date is Thursday 30 March 2023 and the Record date is Friday 31 March. Subject to shareholder approval at the AGM on Friday 5 May, the dividend will be paid on Tuesday 16 May.
The proposed total dividend for 2022 is covered 2.0x by Adjusted EPS. Over the coming years the Board aims to see dividend cover revert to around the prior level that has averaged 2.3x in the 2012-2019 period.
The dividend payments for 2022 will have returned close to $250m to IHG’s shareholders. An additional $500m of surplus capital was returned to shareholders through a share buyback programme that concluded in January 2023. This repurchased 9,272,994 shares at an average price of £46.57 per share, and reduced the total number of voting rights in the Company by 5.0%.
A new share buyback programme will commence immediately, targeted to return $750m over the course of 2023. With the further improvement in profitability and strong cash generation achieved in 2022, IHG’s net debt:adjusted EBITDA ratio reduced to 2.1x at 31 December 2022. With adjusted EBITDA of $896m in 2022, this new buyback programme to return another $750m of surplus capital to shareholders would increase pro forma leverage by 0.8x and therefore resets it on this basis towards the upper end of our target range of 2.5-3.0x.
The Board expects IHG’s business model to continue its strong long-term track record of generating substantial capacity to enable our investment plans that drive growth, to fund a sustainably growing ordinary dividend, and to return surplus capital to our shareholders.
System size and pipeline progress
Openings and signings progress in 2022 reflects IHG’s strong portfolio of brands and the overall enterprise platform that we provide to hotel owners, together with the long-term attractiveness of the markets we operate in:
|●||Global system of 912k rooms (6,164 hotels) at 31 December 2022, weighted 68% across midscale segments and 32% across upscale and luxury|
|●||Gross growth +5.6% YOY; 49.4k rooms (269 hotels) opened, of which 12.4k (33 hotels) added through the Iberostar agreement; adjusted gross growth, excluding Iberostar, of +4.2%|
|●||Removal of 18.1k rooms (96 hotels); includes the impact of ceasing all operations in Russia, resulting in the removal of 6.5k rooms (28 hotels), equivalent to 0.7% of IHG’s global system|
|●||Underlying removal rate -1.3% YOY, lower than the historical average underlying rate of ~1.5%a; fewer removals in Americas includes the effect of the 2021 Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza review|
|●||Net system size growth +4.3%b YOY on an adjusted basis for Russia; net growth +2.9% excluding Iberostar|
|●||Global pipeline of 281k rooms (1,859 hotels), representing 31% of current system size; pipeline growth +3.9% YOY and broadly flat on the 283k pipeline at the end of 2019|
|●||Signed 80.3k rooms (467 hotels), +17% YOY; Q4 signings of 36.4k rooms, or 17.9k excluding Iberostar|
|●||Signings mix drives pipeline to be weighted 54% across midscale segments and 46% across upscale and luxury|
|●||Conversions have continued to grow in importance, representing around a quarter of signings and a third of openings in 2022 (excluding Iberostar)|
|●||More than 40% of the global pipeline is under construction, broadly in line with prior years|
Updates on our strategic priorities
Our four strategic priorities put the expanded brand portfolio we have built in recent years at the heart of our business, and our owners and guests at the heart of our thinking. Our priorities recognise the crucial role of a sophisticated, well-invested digital approach, ensure we meet our growing responsibility to care for and invest in our people, and make a positive difference to our communities and planet.
In 2022, we have increased our level of investment spending to meet these priorities, including further development of our portfolio and individual brands, the critical step of transforming our loyalty programme, and strengthening our digital channels. We have also invested in the resiliency and flexibility of our core revenue-generating technology platforms to support future growth, alongside enhancing our core HR systems and in capabilities that will help IHG and our hotel owners meet our Journey to Tomorrow responsible business commitments.
We continue to place strong emphasis on how we best utilise our own cost investment resources, together with those of the System Fund, to help strengthen our enterprise, capture demand and capitalise on significant opportunities for growth. In 2021, fee business cost savings of $75m were achieved and have been sustained in 2022. As intended, the additional temporary reductions in the 2021 cost base of $25m were redeployed in 2022. While there continues to be pressure to the underlying level of cost inflation in our overheads base, IHG has a strong long-term track record of driving incremental efficiencies and scale advantage in its cost base to help offset these, and delivering productivity gains to further support our hotel owners, at the same time as continuing to invest in each of our strategic priorities.
1. Build loved and trusted brands
We continue to invest in all our brands, enhancing design, service and quality and increasing their scale. We also take opportunities to add additional brands to our portfolio to offer wider choice to guests and loyalty members and provide more owners access to the power of IHG’s enterprise platform. Highlights in 2022 included:
Continued growth of our most established brands.
|●||Our InterContinental brand opened six hotels, growing to 207 across more than 60 countries. A pipeline of 90 hotels and resorts represents growth equivalent to over 30% of current system size.|
|●||Holiday Inn Express grew to 3,091 hotels, with a presence in more than 50 countries. Despite its already market-leading global scale, there is a pipeline for over 20% further growth. Holiday Inn Express achieved 110 signings in the year, while our established extended stay brands Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites added over 70 more.|
Strengthening Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. Our review in 2021 addressed the consistency and quality of the estates for these two brands, resulting in the removal of 151 hotels or 10% of their combined estate, and owners committing to improvements in 83 hotels.
|●||Two-thirds of the Americas Holiday Inn estate and three-quarters of the Crowne Plaza estate will have been updated by 2025 as a result of the review and our ongoing progress. Contributing to this, a further 20 Crowne Plaza and 50 Holiday Inn properties are expected to have renovations completed in 2023. Recently renovated hotels for both brands are showing strong performance metrics across occupancy, room rate, revenue market share and guest satisfaction scores.|
|●||Both brands have pipelines equivalent to 20% or more of their current system size and to drive performance and growth we continue to evolve key elements such as designs of the latest hotel formats and food & beverage services, including Holiday Inn’s new premium breakfast buffet and streamlined all-day dining menus.|
Driving more conversions to our brands. Conversions have continued to grow in importance, with 96 signings and 83 openings in 2022, representing around a quarter and third respectively (excluding Iberostar). Converting to IHG brands reflects the growing demand for access to our enterprise platform, including our revenue-generating systems, marketing and loyalty programmes to support performance, increase efficiencies and drive returns for owners.
|●||Our upscale conversion brand voco recently achieved the milestone of 100 open and pipeline hotels. As momentum builds, there were 14 hotels opened and 23 signings for the brand in the year. Achieving top guest satisfaction scores versus equivalent competing brands, there are already voco properties open in 18 countries and the pipeline will add a further 14, including the first in India, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia. In 2022 the brand was recognised as the World’s Leading Premium Hotel Brand at the World Travel Awards.|
|●||Vignette Collection, our Luxury & Lifestyle conversion brand which launched in August 2021, had secured its first 17 properties by the end of 2022, running ahead of our expectations. The first two Vignette properties in the Americas region were signed in the second half of the year, while in early 2023 the first signings in China, Japan and Germany were achieved, which will lead to the brand’s initial presence in more than a dozen countries.|
Excellent progress in growing our Luxury & Lifestyle presence. We have grown this category to 13% of IHG’s system size and 20% of our pipeline, which is approaching twice the size it was five years earlier. In addition to the progress made at both InterContinental and Vignette, other highlights included:
|●||Our Regent brand saw its flagship Regent Hong Kong reopen towards the end of the year and another key opening was an all-suites-and-villas property in Phu Quoc (Vietnam). Two further signings in Shanghai and Shenzhen Bay take the combined open and pipeline to 19 hotels, up from nine at acquisition in 2018. In 2023, the Carlton Cannes, one of the world’s most iconic hotels, will reopen as a Regent after a two-year redevelopment, becoming a flagship property within a new generation of Regent hotels and reflecting our ambition to grow the brand across Europe.|
|●||Kimpton continued to grow both in the US and internationally, with four openings including Australia’s first for the brand in Sydney and a second in Greater China. A strong year of 10 signings increased the pipeline to 41 properties, representing growth of more than 50% on the 76 hotels already open for the brand.|
|●||Six Senses marked an excellent year with eight signings, taking its pipeline to 38 properties, which would triple today’s existing system. Building on a strong presence across EMEAA, the brand’s pipeline now includes six hotels in the Americas and four in China.|
|●||Hotel Indigo achieved 18 openings in the year to reach 143 properties across more than 20 countries. Signings continued to be very strong too, with 30 in the year taking the pipeline to 20k rooms, which would double the existing system size.|
First Atwell Suites openings and the rapid scale of avid.
|●||The first two Atwell Suites properties opened in the year – a prototype new-build at Denver Airport and an adaptive re-use at Miami Brickell, while 11 more signings for this new extended stay brand grew the pipeline to 30 properties.|
|●||In Q1 2023 we will have reached 60 open properties for our avid hotels brand, which recently had a first opening in Canada to add to those in the US and Mexico. There are more than 140 properties in the pipeline, as we continue to develop avid hotels to be our next brand of scale. Open hotels are showing guest satisfaction and revenue share ahead of competing brands. Eight avid properties have also now sold, which also helps to demonstrate the strong return on investment that owners can achieve from the brand.|
Growing our brand portfolio further through Exclusive Partners. Adding Exclusive Partners demonstrates the strengths and attractiveness of IHG’s enterprise platform, particularly in regard to providing brands and hotels with access to our advanced technology and our distribution channels. For IHG, these commercial agreements will drive additional system growth and high quality fee streams, while providing more choice for our owners, guests and loyalty members, as strongly evidenced with our first Exclusive Partner, Iberostar:
|●||Announced in November 2022, the long-term commercial agreement with Iberostar Hotels & Resorts for resort and all-inclusive hotels added Iberostar Beachfront Resorts as an 18th brand to IHG’s portfolio and brings up to 70 hotels (24.3k rooms) into our system, of which 33 (12.4k rooms) of these were added to IHG’s system by the end of the year. There are 27 of the 70 hotels that require additional approvals from third parties in order to join IHG.|
|●||The agreement significantly increases and broadens IHG’s resort footprint, providing guests with an increased choice of destinations. Iberostar is positioned among the top resort brands in the world, successfully developing a leading presence in beachfront and all-inclusive properties in the Caribbean, Americas, Southern Europe and North America over many decades.|
|●||The Iberostar properties gain access to IHG’s enterprise platform, including to our distribution channels and to IHG One Rewards, which can drive large volumes of demand to hotels from the more than 115 million members of the loyalty programme.|
|●||Under this new type of agreement for Exclusive Partners to leverage the scale and strengths of our platform, IHG receives marketing, distribution, technology and other fees in a manner similar to our existing asset light model. For the initial up to 70 hotels, by 2027, annual revenue recognised within IHG’s fee business is expected to be in excess of $40m, with a broadly similar amount additionally recognised within System Fund revenues. Fees per key are expected to exceed IHG’s prior average by more than 10%.|
|●||In 2022, there were $5m of costs incurred by IHG in relation to the initial stages of the agreement. In 2023, IHG is investing in further integration costs, the net impact of which on operating profit from reportable segments is expected to be $10-15m. The Iberostar agreement is then expected to turn to a positive contribution in 2024, before ramping up significantly from 2025 with the final step up in the fee structure and the expected shift in distribution channel mix that IHG is expected to deliver for the Iberostar hotels.|
|●||IHG’s pipeline also includes five Iberostar Beachfront Resorts properties that are expected to be built and opened in future years. This pipeline, along with IHG’s fee income, will further increase as IHG and Iberostar work together to grow the brand’s footprint through the long-term commercial agreement.|
2. Customer centric in all we do
Delivering True Hospitality for Good means creating seamless and tailored guest experiences that generate increased demand and build loyalty, whilst delivering high returns for our owners in responsible and sustainable ways.
Our loyalty programme is critical to our business and future growth, with 2022 seeing the welcome return to over half our room nights being driven by loyalty members. We now have more than 115 million members in the programme. Loyalty members stay in our hotels more often, typically spend 20% more than non-members and are estimated to be 9x more likely to book direct, which is our most profitable channel for owners.
In 2022 we launched our transformed loyalty programme, IHG One Rewards, to offer industry-leading value, richer benefits and greater choice for members to enhance their stays, alongside attracting a next-generation of travellers. The enhanced rewards include free breakfast for Diamond Elite members and the ability for guests to choose the rewards that matter to them most through the introduction of Milestone Rewards. Achievements include:
|●||Global loyalty contribution had already returned to 2019 levels by the end of 2022, with a significant increase in contribution in the months following launch, which also saw a step up in member Guest Love scores.|
|●||Enrolments in 2022 were up 27% year-on-year and 12.2 million more loyalty members have been added.|
|●||11% more points were redeemed in 2022 compared to 2019, with a 16% increase in reward nights booked.|
|●||Engagement with Milestone Rewards has exceeded our expectations, with over one million rewards chosen.|
|●||Relaunched US co-brand credit cards with new benefits have driven a 60% increase in new accounts and a 17% lift in spend year-on-year.|
|●||The launch of our largest marketing campaign in more than a decade, Guest How You Guest, has lifted awareness and brand favourability measures and helped drive more revenue to our hotels for our owners.|
|●||In 2022, IHG One Rewards won awards including Best Hotel Loyalty Enhancement from The Points Guy and Best Hotel Rewards Program from Global Traveler.|
We have also further strengthened our relationship with Mr & Mrs Smith and expanded the benefits to our IHG One Rewards members. The fourth quarter of 2022 saw the largest number of properties loaded since initial launch, and there are now 687 properties live; these are not part of IHG’s system size, but as a loyalty partnership provide IHG One Rewards members an even wider selection of luxury and lifestyle hotels to indulge in while they earn and redeem points.
Lowering costs and driving efficiencies for our owners
With 2022 continuing to see supply chain issues and increasing supply cost pressures, together with labour shortages, our owners around the world rely heavily on IHG to help them run an efficient business. We have continued to expand the benefits for owners of being part of the IHG system, whilst also improving guest experience.
|●||We have further expanded the scale and reach of our procurement solutions for operating supplies and equipment. Around 4,100 hotels in the Americas region now participate in our F&B purchasing programme, with nearly 20% growth in the number of hotels joining in the US alone. These programmes support menu optimisation, help owners mitigate inflationary pressures and achieve absolute savings. Hotels in Latin America that recently joined IHG’s buying programme saw savings of up to 13%, whilst in the UK, smaller owner groups onboarded in 2022 saw typical savings of 7-15% on food costs and 10‑15% on beverage costs.|
|●||We are also helping owners to lower construction and refurbishment costs. For example, our first Hotel Procurement Service pilots that have now expanded to Japan, Australasia and the Pacific have demonstrated savings of 11-35% on various goods and services for owners during their hotel build and opening phases.|
|●||In Greater China, we have connected owners to specialist financiers for them to provide a Supply Chain Financing programme that offers deferred payment plans at competitive interest rates for owners’ purchases of hotel building materials.|
|●||In our latest formats, the construction costs per key for Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites and Atwell Suites have reduced by 3-5% through further Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment savings.|
|●||During 2022 we unveiled the latest evolution of our upscale EVEN Hotels brand through an updated design, refreshed restaurant and integrated wellness experience. Developed in collaboration with franchisees, this format will be more efficient to build and operate, supporting the brand’s future growth in more markets.|
|●||To mitigate energy cost increases, in the US we assist owners to make their properties more energy efficient and secure related tax deductions. We have also launched a community solar offering initially for hotels in the US state of Maryland, whilst in the UK and Germany all our managed hotels are now supplied through green energy tariffs. We continue to develop further programmes to use IHG’s combined scale to help owner groups access low carbon projects and lower-cost energy.|
|●||The rollout of our next-generation payments system, FreedomPay, is expected to be complete in all US and Canada hotels by the end 2023, adding more guest payment options and lowering costs for owners.|
3. Create digital advantage
Our digital-first approach drives a higher percentage of direct bookings to our hotels, helps meet evolving guest expectations, creates cost efficiencies and delivers data and insights to optimise revenue management decisions. Developments in 2022 included:
|●||Next generation IHG mobile app. Mobile is our fastest-growing revenue channel. Amongst many enhancements, our new app launched in 2022 offers streamlined booking and allows guests to check-in faster. It also powers IHG One Rewards by providing members with seamless access to their loyalty benefits, including the ability to choose and redeem Milestone Rewards and showcase loyalty benefits pre-stay. Other improvements include filtering by room attributes, enriched maps functionality, and in Q4 alone a further 60+ enhancements were made to the booking process. The improvements to the app are supporting further increases in direct bookings, loyalty engagement and incremental spend during stays. Since its launch, reservation flow conversion rate is up two percentage points versus 2019, revenue driven by our mobile app for the Americas and EMEAA regions has been at 30% higher levels than 2019, and a further shift in preference for mobile device usage has seen it now account for 58% of all digital bookings.|
|●||Improved booking experience. Newly designed webpages that combine rooms and rates choices have contributed to increases in booking conversion of up to one percentage point and revenue uplift of up to 3%. This new web experience has also driven a ~30% increase in web enrolments to our IHG One Rewards programme.|
|●||New websites for individual brands. Rolling out new sites for our InterContinental and Hotel Indigo brands has followed the success of those for Kimpton, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. New templates are elevating the brands and providing guests with significantly enhanced content and functionality.|
|●||Stay enhancements and attribute pricing. We have progressed with testing across more brands how we best drive the cross-sell of non-room extras and the up-sell of rooms, which enable owners to generate maximum value from the unique attributes of their inventory. Leveraging the GRS capabilities, our pilots are presenting upsells of room types and rooms views, for example, and we will be scaling these across more of the estate in 2023.|
|●||Digitising more areas of customer experience. As part of a wide range of investments to enhance the customer contact experience whilst driving greater cost efficiency and effectiveness for our owners, we achieved 20% of customer contacts going through digital channels by the end of 2022, compared to just 4% at the start. Growth in AI capabilities has also increased end-to-end self-service from 12% to 17%.|
4. Care for our people, communities and planet
With hotels in thousands of communities all over the world, our business and brands touch the lives of millions of people every day and are united by a purpose of True Hospitality for Good. Our actions are shaped by a culture of strong governance, clear policies and a series of ambitious commitments for our people, communities and planet set out in our Journey to Tomorrow 2030 responsible business plan, which launched in 2021. We are making substantial investments in systems and capabilities to help IHG and our hotel owners meet these commitments. Developments in 2022 included:
Creating a culture where everyone feels valued and able to thrive is a vital part of our ability to attract, develop and retain a more diverse range of talent with different experiences and backgrounds. We are making investments in multiple areas to achieve this:
|●||Overall employee engagement increased to 86% (+1% on 2021), placing IHG as a Global Best Employer by Kincentric.|
|●||We continue to make progress on our commitment to increase ethnic minority leadership representation at a corporate level, aiming to increase this in the US from 20% in 2022 to 26% by 2025 and in the UK from 6% in 2022 to 20% by 2027.|
|●||Reflecting a focus on gender balance among our leaders, the proportion of female corporate leaders increased to 34% and IHG is one of the few large global businesses to have a gender-balanced all-employee population (58% female).|
|●||We celebrated more colleagues graduating from our RISE programme, which aims to increase the number of women in General Manager and other senior positions in our managed hotels.|
|●||We have launched enhanced core HR and learning and development platforms, alongside tools and resources around wellbeing.|
IHG is proud to be at the heart of thousands of communities around the world, and as part of delivering our purpose of True Hospitality for Good we focus on making a positive impact through three areas: skills building, disaster relief and tackling food poverty:
|●||Our free virtual learning platform, the IHG Skills Academy, was translated into eight additional languages in 2022 to broaden the global reach of the IHG Academy programme, which has now trained more than 98,000 people.|
|●||Further programmes were set up to help students historically impacted by discrimination, poverty and other work barriers, including with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the US.|
|●||As we seek to advance human rights through our business activities, we launched minimum core requirements for responsible labour practices for all IHG managed, owned and leased hotels globally, which further supports the implementation of IHG’s Human Rights Policy at hotel level.|
|●||We have implemented new responsible procurement digital tools and solutions, with more than 18,000 e-learning training sessions delivered to colleagues; supporting both our people and communities focus, we introduced our Supplier Diversity programme, EPIC (Engaging Partnerships through Inclusion and Collaboration), whilst through leveraging further partnerships we have gained exposure to additional diverse business entities and doubled our qualified diverse spending in the US on the prior year.|
|●||IHG supported 10 relief efforts around the globe during the year, working closely with our long-term partners such as CARE International and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).|
|●||In response to the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis it has caused, IHG made significant donations to some of our charity partners and worked with our hotel owners in other countries to shelter and recruit refugees. We have also teamed up with Tent Partnership to provide refugees in the US with skills and jobs.|
As part of our Journey to Tomorrow commitments, our 2030 science-based target is to reduce by 46% from the 2019 baseline year our absolute Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as well as our Scope 3 GHG emissions covering both our Fuel and Energy Related Activities (FERA) and franchise estate. Notable progress in 2022 including:
|●||A 3.4% absolute reduction in GHG emissions as defined above, or a 5.8% decrease on an occupied room basis compared to our 2019 baseline levels, achieved in a year when our hotels were also highly focused on recovering from the pandemic and restoring growth.|
|●||The rollout of our Hotel Energy Reduction Opportunities (HERO) tool and training, which gives owners bespoke sustainability recommendations, costs and savings based upon their hotel’s individual data and characteristics.|
|●||We continue to roll-out centralised data collection across our business to make it easier for our hotels to understand and measure their environmental impacts, identify areas for reduction and track progress. At no additional cost to hotels, this data is also helping them to answer requests for proposals when they bid for corporate contracts.|
|●||New hotel energy metrics and brand standards as part of our strategy to decarbonise the existing estate, with targets tailored for every hotel by region, brand and climate zone. Mandated requirements have initially focused on those that provide the most impact for the lowest cost, with paybacks of less than five years for hotel owners.|
|●||Our latest design work for Holiday Inn Express in the US draws upon our analysis to develop new-build hotels that operate at very low or zero-carbon. The guide sets out the measures needed, cost impacts and returns on investment for hotel owners compared to current builds.|
|●||To tackle waste, we secured a bulk bathroom amenities global collaboration to replace bathroom miniatures for more than 4,000 hotels, saving at least 850 tonnes of plastic annually in the Americas region alone and providing hotels with savings of 10-30% versus previous costs.|
|●||Our global food waste e-learning modules launched in 13 languages, based around the UN’s “prevent, donate, divert” plan, whilst our work with food waste specialist Winnow to install assessment technology at 20 hotels in the Middle East is delivering an average reduction of 68% in the cost of food waste.|
|●||A baseline dataset on water risks for all hotels has been completed, which will inform our future strategy and reporting as we adopt the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) framework. Our global risk mapping on biodiversity was also finalised in the year to establish the baseline dataset for this critical area.|
|●||Among InterContinental Hotels Group strong ratings across ESG indices, surveys and reports, we are proud to have been listed in the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and Europe Index for the sixth consecutive year, to receive a AA rating from MSCI, to be ranked ‘best-in-class’ in the ISS Environmental Quality Score and Social Quality Score, and in the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) to have increased our score to 81% in 2022 which strongly outperformed the sector average of 66%.|