InterContinental beds down in Far East

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The Independent Online

The Holiday Inns owner InterContinental Hotels is planning to open up to 200 hotels in Asia under its boutique Indigo label in the next two years, the group is expected to reveal this week.

A rapid roll-out of the Indigo brand is planned for locations such as Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore. At present there are no Indigo hotels in the region.

The announcement will come when IHG, run by chief executive Andy Cosslett, posts its first-half results on 12 August, with analysts predicting operating profits of around $290m (£150m) – up from $220m for the same period last year. IHG is likely to break through its three-year target of 60,000 new rooms six months earlier than planned.

However, investors will want reassurance that the group's Americas division, which accounts for 70 per cent of its business, will hold up. "In the near term, we are concerned by high exposure to the slowing US hotels market," said Sam Hart, an analyst at Charles Stanley.