InterContinental Hotels Group said a marked Q4 slowdown had continued into 2009 and demand was still easing, as it met forecasts with a 13-per cent rise in 2008 profit.
The operator of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotel brands, said underlying revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, fell 6.5 per cent in Q4 2008 and slid 12.2 per cent in January, led by a steep decline in demand in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The trading environment is very tough. The sharp deterioration that we reported last November has continued into 2009 and we see no signs of improvement at this stage," CEO Andrew Cosslett said in a statement yesterday.
The company met 2008 forecasts as continuing operating profit rose 13 per cent to $535 million (Dh1,965m) on continuing revenue five per cent higher at $1.85bn, as global RevPAR grew 0.9 per cent.
The hotelier, which operates 4,100 worldwide hotels with over 600,000 rooms, maintained the final dividend at 29.2 cents.
InterContinental said it had added 82,000 rooms to its portfolio by the end of 2008, beating a three-year growth target to add 60,000 rooms by the year-end.