Growth in China helps InterContinental outperform


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The Independent Online

Despite the prevailing economic gloom around the globe, Richard Solomons, the chief executive of InterContinental Hotels, is sure he can continue to outperform the market.

Revenues rose by only 1 per cent in the third quarter to $473m (£260m), but operating profits grew 9 per cent to $167m.

Mr Solomons cites China as an example of beating the opposition where InterContinental-managed hotels increased their revenue per room by 4 per cent in the last quarter while the overall market was slightly down.

He said: "Political change with the 10-yearly Peoples' Congress this month has meant much less activity.

"In China, Government and business are far more interlinked than anywhere else in the world. So when major political change is happening businesses tend to put off taking decisions."

The group has reopened talks on the sale of its New York Barclay with a $300m price tag after a period of exclusive negotiations with one buyer, reported to be Qatari hotel owner Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad, ended.

Mr Solomons also expects to push the start button on the sale process of the InterContinental on Park Lane early in the new year. Analysts say that could fetch up to £200m.