InterContinental Hotels Group plans to create 160,000 jobs by 2014, half of which will be in China, the world’s largest hotels operator said on Tuesday after announcing a return to profit.
“We plan to create 160,000 jobs over the next three to four years,” a spokesman told AFP. The group’s main hotel chain brands include InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
Net profit stood at 141 million dollars (107 million euros) in the six months to June, compared with a net loss of 29 million dollars in the first half of 2009, the company said.
Revenue rose six percent to 772 million dollars as more business customers flocked to its facilities, particularly in Asia, it added.
“Over the next three to years we will be opening 1,300 new hotels globally,” the spokesman said.
“We will be creating about 160,000 jobs as those hotels open, and within that, there will be 3,000 jobs in the UK. The majority of those jobs will be in China as we look to double our presence there from our current size of 130 hotels over the next five years.
“By doing so, we add about 80,000 people to our current work force in China,” he said.
The firm added that revenue per available room (RevPAR) — a key industry measure — rose 7.4 percent in the second quarter compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in the first quarter.
“Asia is leading the recovery,” group chief executive Andrew Cosslett said.
RevPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate by its occupancy rate.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 650,000 rooms in more than 4,500 hotels across the world.
Despite the upbeat earnings release, the group said “the economic environment remains uncertain.”
Profit-taking saw InterContinental’s share price close down four percent at 1,078 pence on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index, which fell 0.63 percent.