IHG focuses on costs

InterContinental Hotels Group has followed the other global operators in announcing plans to conserve cash.

The company said that it would reduce salary and incentives, including “substantial decreases” for board and executive committee members.

Keith Barr, IHG CEO, said: “Demand for hotels is currently at the lowest levels we’ve ever seen. IHG has a robust business model and the measures we are announcing today to reduce costs and preserve cash give us the capacity to manage the business through this unique environment and to support our owners during this incredibly difficult time.

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“These were not easy choices and we are mindful of the impact these decisions will have on our colleagues and shareholders. However, we believe that these are essential to ensuring that we come out of this as strong as we possibly can and ready to capitalise on what remains an industry with excellent long-term growth potential.”

The company has followed Pandox and PPHE in withdrawing plans for a dividend. It said that it was “conservatively leveraged” with “significant liquidity” and would be reducing gross capital expenditure by around $100m from 2019 levels.

During March the group has forecast global revpar declines of around 60%, with steeper declines in those markets most impacted by restrictions. Cancellation activity for April and May, and current booking trends, indicated continued challenging conditions, it said. In Greater China it now has 60 hotels closed compared to 178 at the peak, and said: “In recent days have begun to see improvements in occupancy, albeit at low levels”.

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