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InterContinental Hotels Group counts cost of Hong Kong protests

Joanna Bourke
AFP via Getty Images

Holiday Inn-owner InterContinental Hotels Group on Friday led a chorus of business voices warning that Hong Kong protests are hurting sales.

FTSE 100 firm IHG, which is also behind brands such as Crowne Plaza, warned revenue per room slumped 36% in Hong Kong in the third quarter. The company expects to take a $5 million (£3.9 million) hit there.

Finance chief Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said his firm had seen fewer holidaymakers and business travellers checking into Hong Kong hotels amid widespread political unrest in the former British colony.

The anti-government protests have now been going on for more than four months. Airline Cathay Pacific and French spirits maker Rémy Cointreau were among other firms that today said they have also been impacted.

Cathay Pacific said September was a challenging month, with revenue “adversely affected by weakened market sentiment, particularly for travel into Hong Kong”. The carrier lowered its expectations for full-year profits.

Rémy Cointreau pointed to a fall in Hong Kong tourism hurting cognac sales in the first half. Total sales during that period decreased 0.6% to €523.9 million (£453 million).

It wasn’t just Hong Kong that weighed on IHG’s revenues. The company saw a softer performance in Canada and the Middle East.

It cheered 3% revenue per room growth in London, helping lift the UK figure 1%. However, total group revenue per room decreased 0.8%. The shares fell 139p to 4598p.

IHG chief executive Keith Barr said despite the challenges some of the group’s markets face, “we remain confident in our financial outcome for the rest of the year”.

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