IHG Hotels and Resorts has seen its profits surge for the first half of 2022 as travel bounces back.

Operating profit for the six months ending June 30 rose to US$361 million (£298 million), compared with US$138 million (£114 million) last year.

The group’s second-quarter revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the Americas region was up 3.5 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels, and there was a 10.3 per cent improvement in the EMEAA region.

Greater China also saw a “strong recovery” in recent months following strict travel restrictions, though the group says that there is still “risk of further volatility in trading in the region”.

The group opened 96 hotels in the first half of the year, bringing its global estate to 6,028 hotels. It has also signed 210 hotels, taking its global pipeline to 1,858 hotels.

Keith Barr, CEO of IHG Hotels and Resorts, said:

“We saw continued strong trading in the first half of 2022 with increased demand for travel in most of our markets. This brought group RevPAR very close to pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter. Alongside leisure stays, the return of business and group travel demand continued to build over the period, and our hotels are seeing increased pricing power due to the strength of IHG’s brands, loyalty programme and technology platform…

“IHG’s clear strategy over the last five years has seen us emerge from the pandemic a stronger and more resilient company, delivering on key priorities and progressing our ambitious 2030 Journey to Tomorrow responsible business commitments. Whilst the economic outlook faces uncertainties as central banks and governments take action to manage inflation, we remain confident in our business model and the attractive industry fundamentals that will drive long-term sustainable growth.

“Having reinstated a final dividend in respect of 2021 six months ago, the strong performance seen in 2022 to date, together with the confidence we have in continued progress, has led us to reintroduce an interim dividend at a level 10% higher than when last paid and launch an initial $500m share buyback.”