The Intercontinental Hotel Group (LON:IHG) delivered some good news to investors on Tuesday, raising its dividend by 11 percent on the back of stronger-than-expected full year results.
The group, who own both the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotel chains, lifted its total dividend per share to 94c from 85c alongside a proposed a $400 million special dividend.
Revenue fell 4.9 percent to $1,715 million, but was offset by a 4 percent increase in operating profit to $707 million. The group saw net room growth up 3.1 percent, rising as high as 8.8 percent in Greater China.
40,000 new rooms were opened, 90 percent of which were in the group’s priority markets. However, net debt soared from $529 million to $1,506 million.
Richard Solomons, Chief Executive of InterContinental Hotels Group, said: “Our results clearly demonstrate our strong operational performance and the success of IHG’s long-term strategy, which have delivered a 9.5 percent increase in underlying profit and a 23 percent increase in underlying EPS.”
Looking forward, however, Solomons added: “The fundamentals for the hospitality industry remain compelling. Despite the uncertain environment in some markets, we remain confident in the outlook for the year ahead, as well as our ability to deliver sustainable growth into the future.”
The results come just a few weeks after 12 of its hotels across the Americas suffered a data breach. The group first reported it was looking into irregularities at a small number of its properties back in December, and confirmed on the 9th February that its payment card processing systems for hotels, including The Bristol Bar & Grille at the Holiday Inn San Francisco and The Sevens Bar & Grill at Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley, had been hacked.
Shares in the Intercontinental Hotel Group are currently trading roughly flat, up 0.64 percent at 3,903.00 (0908GMT).