Holiday-Inn owner IHG loses $153 million, scraps dividend as crisis hits travel

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain introduces hotel quarantine programme for arrivals from a “red list” of 30 countries, in London

(Reuters) – InterContinental Hotels signalled its pandemic-driven troubles were far from over as repeated COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns forced the Holiday Inn-owner to cancel its final dividend and book an annual loss on Tuesday.

The company, whose brands include the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe hotel chains, said 2020 was the most challenging year in its history as it reported a 52.5% drop in revenue per available room for the year.

Pinning its hopes on the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and easing restrictions, IHG said the industry was unlikely to see a recovery until later in the year as global travel and entertainment spending remain severely limited by government curbs.

“2021 has begun with many of these challenges still in place,” Chief Executive Officer Keith Barr said.

The company reported a group operating loss of $153 million for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $630 million last year.

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