IHG looking for Olympic surge

Hotel News - 10/05/2012

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Officials from the Hotel conglomerate said today after posting a rise of 5 per cent in first-quarter earnings that in addition to bookings made via the surge of spectators headed to London that it was also looking to profit from providing accommodation for some 15,000 athletes and personnel during the two-week event.

Richard Solomons, chief executive of the Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza parent firm, said to reporters that Holiday Inn’s sponsorship of the games would keep the firm’s current momentum strong over the summer travel season.

The UK-based firm posted first quarter profits this week totalling to $118 million (£73 million) earned via its portfolio of some 4,500 hotel properties worldwide. Revenues were up about 3 per cent to $409 million (£253 million); officials said the rise came as a result of strong performance in several key European countries including the UK, Germany and France in spite of current economic woes in the region.

Mr Solomons also said on Wednesday that the company was still amid the sale process for its flagship New York property, the InterContinental New York Barclay. He said that the sale was taking place with a single “exclusive buyer”, which experts say is probably Qatari hotel investor Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad.

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