InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has revealed its plans to launch an "all-suites upper midscale brand" while outlining its preliminary financial results for 2018.
In the statement, IHG said the planned 2019 brand launch would build on "existing mainstream strength". It added that the as-yet unnamed all-suites upper midscale brand will be targeted at an US$18bn industry segment "where strong guest and owner demand has driven a ~70% increase in room supply in the last four years".
This follows the recent acquisition of Six Senses by IHG.
In its results for the year to December 31, 2018, IHG reported total gross revenue of $27.4bn (up 6.6%), along with the strongest net system size growth in a decade (up 4.8%). This added 56,000 rooms to the operator's portfolio, with 18,000 removals - leaving 837,000 across the global portfolio. There was an 18% year-on-year increase in signings (the highest in a decade), with nearly half of the total signings from the Holiday Inn brand family.
IHG CEO Keith Barr said in a statement: "We have made excellent progress in 2018 executing against the strategic initiatives I set out a year ago to accelerate our growth, whilst delivering a strong financial performance. The investments we have made have had a significant impact, allowing us to further evolve our established brands, move quickly to strengthen our portfolio both organically and by acquisition, and create real momentum in our business. We have made further progress in 2019 with the acquisition of the top-tier luxury brand Six Senses and the planned launch of a new all-suites upper midscale brand.
"Our strategic focus on accelerating our net rooms growth helped drive a net system size increase of 4.8%, and our best performance for both openings and signings in a decade, leaving us well positioned for future growth."
IHG had previously launched a midscale brand, avid hotels, in 2017.