InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (LON:IHG) today announced 2019 first quarter trading update
· 5.4% YoY net system size growth to 843k rooms, 12k rooms opened
· 24k rooms signed, strongest Q1 pace for 12 years, including 2.7k rooms from acquisition of Six Senses
· Global Q1 comparable RevPAR up 0.3% with US RevPAR up 0.6%
Keith Barr, Chief Executive of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, said:
“Our strategic focus on driving industry leading net rooms growth is delivering strong results, with our net system size increasing 5.4% in the first quarter and our highest number of signings in 12 years. Global RevPAR increased 0.3% against strong prior year results, with good growth in the US where we outperformed the industry segments where we compete, and continued market share gains in China.
Our highest first quarter hotel openings in a decade included our 400th hotel in Greater China. More than 60% of openings globally were in the Holiday Inn Brand Family, driven by our focus on innovative design and service enhancements which is leading to improved guest satisfaction across our highly preferred portfolio of global brands.
We have continued to expand our brand portfolio into high-opportunity segments and markets. In mainstream, we now have over 180 avid hotels signed and will launch our all-suites upper midscale brand in the US later this month. Our upscale conversion brand voco, is seeing strong owner interest with 5 hotels now open and a further 12 signed since launch last year. Our recent acquisition of Six Senses rounds out our offer in the top tier of luxury.
The investments we are making to enable this acceleration in growth are funded through our efficiency programme, which is on track to deliver $125m of annual savings by 2020. While macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties remain in some markets, the strong fundamentals of our business give us confidence for the balance of the year.”
First Quarter performance
RevPAR was up 0.3%, with rate up 0.6% and occupancy down 0.2%pts.
Comparable RevPAR was up 0.8% driven by 1.2% rate growth. US RevPAR was up 0.6% despite tough comparables from hurricane related demand in Q1 2018. Elsewhere in the region, Canada was up 1% with continued strength in the western provinces. RevPAR in Latin America and the Caribbean was up 10% with strong growth in Colombia, Brazil and Argentina. Mexico RevPAR was down 2%.
We opened 4.9k rooms (37 hotels) in the quarter including an InterContinental hotel in Houston. We continue to focus on enhancing the quality of our hotel estate and removed 3.6k rooms (25 hotels). Together, this drove a 2.9% increase in our net system size. We signed 7.5k rooms (70 hotels) including 16 for the Staybridge Suites brand.
Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa
Comparable RevPAR was down 0.7% with solid growth in Europe offset by softness in the Middle East and South Korea. Excluding these two markets, RevPAR would have been up 1%.
UK RevPAR was up 2% with London up 4% and the Provinces flat. Continental Europe was up 1%. In France, RevPAR was down 3%, with performance impacted by social unrest in Paris. RevPAR in Germany was up 2%.
Trading conditions in the Middle East continued to remain challenging with RevPAR down 4% driven by increased supply and political unrest. South Korea RevPAR fell 30% due to lapping the Winter Olympic games of Q1 2018.
Australia RevPAR was down 2% with the region impacted by supply growth in certain cities. Japan RevPAR was up 2% benefitting from good transient and corporate demand in key cities.
We opened 3.8k rooms (33 hotels), including 1.2k rooms (15 hotels) from the acquisition of Six Senses, driving 7.5% net rooms growth. We signed 6.2k rooms (51 hotels) including 2.0k rooms (26 hotels) from the acquisition of Six Senses.
RevPAR was flat in Q1 due to a strong prior year performance in Q1 2018 when RevPAR was up 11%. In Mainland China we significantly outperformed the market. Tier 1 and 2 cities saw marginal RevPAR growth whilst Tier 3 and 4 cities were down 3% partly due to the continued impact of new supply in Sanya. RevPAR in Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR was up 1% and 3% respectively driven by rate growth.
We opened 3.7k rooms (18 hotels), driving 13.2% net rooms growth including the first Kimpton in the region in Taipei. Signings totalled 9.8k rooms (52 hotels), our best first quarter performance in 13 years, and included an InterContinental and EVEN hotel in Zhangjiakou and the Kimpton Beijing Dashilar. Owner demand for our Holiday Inn Express Franchise Plus offering remains strong, with 21 hotels signed in the quarter and a further 6 franchised hotels signed for Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
Good progress has been made against our strategic priorities to drive industry leading net rooms growth over the medium term.
Build and leverage scale
· Net system size up 5.4% year on year to 843k rooms (5,656 hotels), including 1.3k rooms (16 hotels) from the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.
· 12k rooms opened in the quarter; 11k excluding the acquisition of Six Senses – up 39% on the prior year and includes our highest ever Q1 openings in Greater China. 6.1k rooms (35 hotels) were removed from the system.
· 24k rooms signed; 21k rooms excluding 2.7k rooms from the acquisition of Six Senses – our strongest Q1 rooms signings since 2007.
· Pipeline now stands at 279k rooms.
Optimise our preferred portfolio of brands for owners and guests
· Mainstream – enhancing our offer:
– Holiday Inn: Continued roll out of new “Open Lobby” public space in Europe with our 100th Holiday Inn Open Lobby hotel recently opened in Belfast.
– avid hotels: More than 180 avid hotels now signed, including 12 hotels (1.2k rooms) signed in Q1 2019, one of which was in Germany. With 46 avid hotels currently under construction or with planning approved, we expect openings to gather momentum through the year.
– New ‘all-suites’ upper midscale brand: On track for launch later this month at our Americas owners conference.
· Upscale – growing our offer:
– Crowne Plaza: Strong momentum behind Plaza Workspaces with new modern design and dynamic meeting space launched in our Atlanta flagship hotel.
– Hotel Indigo: Signed 8 hotels including 4 in the Americas, taking the total pipeline to 99 hotels (14.4k rooms).
– voco: Launched brand in June 2018, primarily for conversion opportunities. Five hotels now open including a flagship property in Dubai. A further 12 hotels have been signed to date (3.4k rooms in total).
· Luxury – expanding our portfolio:
– Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants: Following the opening of the UK flagship, the Kimpton Fitzroy London, we expanded our presence across the UK with the opening of our first Kimpton Hotel in Scotland. We also opened the first Kimpton Hotel in Asia-Pacific, the Kimpton Da An Hotel, Taipei.
– Regent Hotels & Resorts: Strong owner interest, with signings in Chengdu and Bali during the quarter.
– Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas: Completed acquisition of 16 hotels and resorts, with 18 management contracts signed into its pipeline, and more than 50 further deals under discussion. Since acquisition, we have opened Six Senses Hotels in Bhutan and Cambodia.
Financial position and capital allocation
The financial position of the group remains robust, with an on-going commitment to an efficient balance sheet and an investment grade credit rating.
The strengthening of the US dollar against many major currencies globally decreased group RevPAR to a decline of 2.0% in the quarter, when reported at actual exchange rates. A breakdown of constant vs. actual currency RevPAR by region is set out in Appendix 2.