InterContinental Hotels reports special dividend as profits rise
Dividend of $400m, after operating profit rises 4% to $707m, sends stock to record high
InterContinental Hotel in Dublin. IHG said it would hand out the special dividend to shareholders over the second quarter. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) beat 2016 profit forecasts, helped by demand in the Americas, and announced a $400 million (€379.2m) special dividend for shareholders that sent its stock to a record high.
The company, which runs more than 5,000 hotels in about 100 countries under brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental, said on Tuesday it also expected a pick-up in demand from oil industry customers this year as recovering crude prices reduce the squeeze on that sector.
IHG’s operating profit rose 4 per cent to $707 million last year, ahead of analysts’ estimate of about $695 million according to a company-compiled consensus.
Revenue per available room (Revpar), a key industry measure, grew 1.7 per cent year-on-year in the three months through December, faster than the 1.3 per cent in the third quarter.
The total dividend was up 11 per cent to 94 US cents a share. IHG said it would hand out the special dividend to shareholders over the second quarter and undertake a share consolidation.