The InterContinental Hotels group has posted a 30 per cent rise in first-half profits, as the company increasingly focuses on selling assets and generating income from managing properties.
The world's largest hotelier said that operating profits from continuing operations were £107 million in the six months to June 30th, up from £82 million a year earlier.
The Windsor-based company, which operates the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels, said that revenue per available room– a key indicator used to measure a hotel's performance – rose by 11.2 per cent across its businesses during the period.
Publishing the company's interim results for the first-half, InterContinental also revealed that it expected to receive proceeds of £440 million during the third quarter of 2006, based on the sale of seven InterContinental branded hotels in continental Europe that were placed on the market during the first-half and which involve management contracts of up to 50 years.
InterContinental has already received £240 million from the disposal of 24 of its hotels in Europe during the first six months of the year, with the sale subject to a 15-year franchise agreement.
The hospitality group has said that it expects to make a further return to shareholders as part of its hotel asset disposal programme, with the timing and amount of the return to be announced by February 2007.
Welcoming the company's interim results for the first-half, InterContinental group chief executive Andrew Cosslett said he was confident about the firm's prospects for the remainder of the year.
"We have made good progress on our asset disposal programme and remain fully focused on increasing the number of hotels that carry our brands," said Mr Cosslett.
"We continue to attract strong interest from owners and partners, both new and existing, and for the first time we now have over 1,000 new hotels in the development pipeline across the world.
"Current trading is healthy and our outlook for the rest of the year remains positive," he added.