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Weak oil markets, early Easter affect InterContinental's Q1 RevPAR

CEO Richard Solomons said in the company's earnings release that weak oilmarkets and the earlier timing of Easter affected the RevPAR performance in "several"of the group's markets.

Thegroup's RevPAR was up 1.5% year over year in the first quarter, with Americas,Europe and greater China posting gains, and Asia, the Middle East and Africadown in the comparable period.

Specifically,RevPAR in the Americas was up 1.9%; Europe up 1.4%; greater China up 2.2%; andAsia, the Middle East and Africa seeing 1.1% year-over-year drop in RevPAR.

Inthe first quarter of 2015, the company reporteda 5.9% increase in comparable RevPAR.

Thegroup's rate was up 1.0% and occupancy up 0.3 percentage points in the firstquarter.

Duringthe 2016 first quarter, the company opened over 5,000 rooms in 38 hotels, ahistorical low for the company in terms of openings. On the other hand, itsigned 15,000 new rooms in the period, its highest first quarter since 2008.

InterContinentalalso removed 8,000 rooms and expects removals to trend back to within the 2% to3% range for the full year. The group has 220,000 rooms in the pipeline — 45%are under construction and 90% are in the company's 10 priority markets.

Thecompany claims that its projects account for 13% of the active industrypipeline and around three times current supply share. It added that itsfinancial position "remains robust."

"Lookingahead, despite economic and political uncertainty in some markets, currenttrading trends and the momentum behind our brands give us confidence for therest of the year," Solomons said.