InterContinental raises dividend

Intercontinental hotels raised its dividend for the first time in three years as it cheered the market with a 22 per cent rise in profits for 2010 last night.

The world's biggest hotelier posted $444m (£275m) in operating profits for last year, slightly ahead of market hopes of $442m. Revenue per available room (Revpar), a key measure of performance in the hotel industry, was also higher, up 8.4 per cent in January. Revpar rose by 8 per cent in the fourth quarter, and by 6.2 per cent over 2010.

The company said it planned to make a full-year payout to shareholders of 48 cents, up 16 per cent on 2009.

Its finance director, Richard Solomons, said the group was seeing "some solid growth" across the world, with the recovery that had started in Asia now looking "very broad-based".

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