ATLANTA—IHG had a net system size growth of 5.7% in the first half of 2019, its highest in more than a decade, with 30,000 new rooms, up 38% year-over-year (YOY).
In addition, the company saw a 0.1% increase in RevPAR in the Americas, a 0.2% increase in EMEAA and a 0.3% decline in China. Underlying profit was up 2% and the first half signings of 48,000 rooms (up 3% YoY), highest in more than a decade and includes record performance in Greater China. The company’s total pipeline now stands at 282,000 rooms. The company also removed 10,000 rooms, in line with a continued focus on the long-term health of established brands, leaving 856,000 rooms across the global estate.
The company also reported that it continued progress optimizing its brand portfolio for future growth, with five signings for Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas since acquisition in February, and the launch of its new upper-midscale brand Atwell Suites in H1.
The rollout of Voco is continuing at pace with 21 hotels signed to date (8,000 rooms), expected to reach approximately 30 signings (10,000 rooms) by the end of the year. Almost 200 Avid hotels have signed in less than two years with three open and more than a quarter under construction or with planning approved.
“Eighteen months ago, we set out a series of strategic initiatives to drive an acceleration in growth to ambitious new levels,” said Keith Barr, CEO, IHG. “Our approach is built around strengthening our established brands, adding new brands in high opportunity segments and optimizing our owner proposition. In a slower RevPAR growth environment, we’ve made significant progress, opening a record number of rooms in the first half, which have delivered a 5.7% increase in net system size growth, our best performance in over a decade, with future growth underpinned by our highest level of signings over the same period.”
The company has achieved growth for many of its brands. “In the first half alone, we launched transformational design prototypes for Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites and evolved our brand prototypes for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express,” he said. “We also developed six flagship properties for Crowne Plaza in the U.S., Europe and China and have continued to take Hotel Indigo and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to new markets. Our new Avid and Voco brands are performing well, we’ve already had over 50 expressions of interest for our newest brand, Atwell Suites, and we’re well placed to capitalize on strong growth in the luxury segment with our recently acquired Six Senses and Regent brands. As we focus on ensuring that we operate and grow our business in a responsible way, we’re proud to have committed to switching every IHG hotel to bulk-size bathroom amenities, in an effort to reduce waste and protect the environment.”