InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is truly that. The company is the world's largest hotel company by room count, with more than 4,400 properties in more than 100 countries. Its mainstay chain, Holiday Inn, offers mid-market accommodations at more than 1,200 locations in the US, Europe, and Asia, along with some 2,100 limited-service locations operated under the Holiday Inn Express brand. IHG also serves the upscale market with its Crowne Plaza and InterContinental chains, while its Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites brands offer extended stay services mostly in the US. The company's Hotel Indigo is its boutique brand, targeting midscale travelers seeking affordable luxury.
IHG has been busy reducing the number of owned properties in its portfolio and expanding its hotel management and franchising operations, which have grown to account for nearly all the company's hotels; as of the close of fiscal year 2011, IHG owns or leases only about 10 properties (down from about 15 in 2010). All total, the company has sold about 190 hotels -- for an aggregate price of some $5.6 billion -- since 2003.
The hotel company launched two new brands in 2012. EVEN is a new midscale brand in the US, while HUALUXE is a new upscale brand for the Chinese market. IHG touts that it is one of the world's largest hotel companies in China with 167 hotels there, and another approximately 150 hotels in development. In 2012 it opened the world's largest Holiday Inn through a deal with Sands China. Located in China's gambling capital, the Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central has more than 1,200 rooms.
IHG's four biggest brands (Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza) each recorded an increase in revenues in 2011, resulting in the company's overall growth in revenues and profits for the year. Revenues jumped from $1.6 billion in 2010 to nearly $1.8 billion in 2011, while profits increased from $280 million to $473 million during that same period. The firm attributes such growth to an economy that continues to recover, causing increased travel in the US and China.
The company has been focusing on upgrades at its Holiday Inn chain, which in 2011 completed a major rebranding initiative involving a new identity and logo. It spent some $1 billion to rebrand more than 3,200 Holiday Inn hotels worldwide.
IHG was formerly the hotel business segment of Six Continents, which in 2003 separated its lodging and pub operations (now known as Mitchells & Butlers). IHG initially retained Six Continent's stake in Britvic, maker of such brands as Robinsons, Tango, and Red Devil, but it later floated those shares to the public.