InterContinental Hotels Group expects to beat its target of adding up to 60,000 new rooms by the end of 2008.

Halfway through its three-and -a -half-year plan the hotel group, which operates the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains, has added 26,000 rooms, net of losses. Analysts expect the company to achieve at least 70,000 by the end of next year, up from the target of 50,000 to 60,000 announced in June 2005.

Andy Cosslett, Intercontinental’s chief executive, said he was confident of beating the group's previous rooms target, despite an increase in the number of unsuitable Holiday Inns that had to be discarded, particularly in the US. ‘We are throwing out old properties that are not fit for purpose,’ he said.

In its interim results, InterContinental posted a 5% rise in its underlying operating profits to £111m in the six months to June.

Cosslett said that despite a fall in the share price, IHG’s trading performance was unaffected by the recent market turmoil.