Intercontinental posts growth
Intercontinental Hotels Group, the world’s biggest hotelier, reported higher revenue growth at its US operations and said customer demand had remained strong despite the global economic slowdown. The firm, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, yesterday said total revenues per available room at its US operations rose 9.5 percent during the third quarter, outperforming broader industry growth of 7.9 percent. Last month, CEO Richard Solomons said his group had weathered the recession following the Lehman Bros collapse in 2008 better than its competitors.
Lloyds may float branches
Partly nationalized British bank Lloyds said on Sunday that a flotation of about 630 bank branches, which it has been ordered to dispose of by regulators, remained an option, along with a sale of the branches. Lloyds’ spokeswoman added that the bank had contacted British listing authorities as it examines the possible flotation of the branches. Lloyds has given the auction the code name of “Project Verde.” The Sunday Telegraph reported that a flotation of the Verde assets was now considered by Lloyds as a “near certainty,” but Lloyds said it had no preferred option yet on either a sale or a spin-off.
TomTom Q3 profit up 9.6%
Navigation device manufacturer TomTom NV yesterday reported a 9.6 percent rise in third-quarter earnings, mostly because of lower restructuring charges, but its operations also strengthened from the previous quarter and its debts are declining. Net profit was 28.9 million euros (US$40 million), from 19.3 million euros a year ago, when it took a 20 million euro restructuring charge, the company said. Revenues fell 10 percent to 336 million euros due an ongoing fall in device sales to consumers in the US and Europe, but sales were up 7 percent since June on higher revenues from carmakers.
Galaxy upbeat on prospects
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, the Macau casino operator that opened its second resort in May, yesterday said China’s monetary tightening policies had not affected business. “We haven’t felt the effects of China’s tightening” and the junket operators, who bring high-stakes gamblers to the city, continue to collect from their clients, vice chairman Francis Lui (呂耀東) said in Hong Kong. Still, “we should keep an eye on it,” he said. Macau casino gambling revenue will continue to grow because of improving transport links between Macau and mainland China, Lui said.
Netflix eyes UK, Ireland
Netflix Inc said it would expand to the UK and Ireland early next year, offering television shows and movies streaming over the Internet to televisions and computers for a subscription price. The service will be available to customers on a monthly subscription basis, Netflix said. The company said further details about the service, including pricing, content and supported devices, will be announced closer to launch.
San Miguel weighs options
San Miguel Corp is evaluating options for an appropriate structure for its telecoms business, the Philippines’ largest company by sales said yesterday. San Miguel made the disclosure to the stock exchange in response to a Manila Stardard Today article, which said it might fold Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc into Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc.