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IHG Reports 21% Revenue Rise Despite Asia Travel Curbs

The group made an operating profit of $494 million last year, as higher jab rates and renewed economic activity fuelled a “rapid return” of demand

IHG Thailand
Thailand's economy has gone into stagflation because of a fragile recovery and surging price hikes. Photo: Reuters


Hotel giant IHG, which owns brands such as InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton and Indigo, reported a 21% rise in revenue to $2.9 billion in 2021, as growth in North America and Europe offset continuing border closures in Asia-Pacific.

The group made an operating profit of $494 million last year, compared with a loss of $153 million in 2020.

IHG said higher vaccination rates and renewed economic activity had fuelled an overall “rapid return” of demand.

The group’s outlook was based on the “differing timing” and level of “relaxation of restrictions”.

Revenue per available room (revPAR), a key metric, recovered to 70% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels, and 83% in the fourth quarter.

“Trading improved significantly in 2021, with RevPAR getting closer to pre-pandemic levels as the year went on, profitability and cashflow rebounding strongly, and signings accelerating,” chief executive Keith Barr said.

“As vaccination rates rise and restrictions are lifted around the world, we are seeing the demand for travel increase.”


Strong Recovery in US

IHG said it had seen a “particularly strong recovery” in the US during 2021, recording a 51.2% rise in revenue to $774 million in the Americas region compared with 2020.

Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa region saw a 37.1% increase in revenue to $303 million over the same period.

RevPAR fell 20% from 2019 levels in North America and 40% in Europe but was down 53% in Australia, 56% in Japan and 59% in Southeast Asia and South Korea.

However, with Australia, Singapore and Vietnam among countries reopening or preparing to reopen borders, Barr is confident the worst is over.

“The signs are encouraging that we are nearing the end of the pandemic, and we are confident in the strength of IHG’s enterprise, market positioning and ability to drive attractive levels of long-term, sustainable growth,” Barr said.

Last week, IHG opened Australia’s first Kimpton boutique hotel, in Sydney’s inner city. And a hotel in the city’s iconic Bondi Beach has been acquired and will be converted into a Holiday Inn, while a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in the western suburb of Parramatta will open later this year.

In January, the group opened a Holiday Inn Express in Melbourne’s central business district.

A Regent-branded hotel is planned for Vietnam’s island of Phu Quoc this year, while an upmarket Voco hotel is scheduled for Singapore.


  • George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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