InterContinental Hotels Group Plc gained the most in five years after first quarter revenue beat expectations the company said it will pay a special dividend of $750 million in July.

The world’s largest provider of hotel accommodation rose as much as 9.5 percent to 2,214 pence in London trading, the biggest gain since May 2009. It’s also the highest price since InterContinental first sold shares to the public in 2003.

Intercontinental, the owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, said today it will pay the dividend after selling the Mark Hopkins San Francisco and an 80 percent stake in the New York Barclay for about $394 million in March. Revenue per available room, a measure of occupancy and rates known as revpar, increased by 6 percent from a year earlier, the Denham, England-based company said in a statement today. That compares with a 4.8 percent average gain in a survey of nine analysts.

InterContinental has been divesting properties over the past 10 years as it focuses on operating hotels rather than owning them. The company said it has distributed $10.3 billion to shareholders since 2003.

“Current trading trends give us confidence for the rest of the year and our strategy for high quality growth positions us well for continuing outperformance, in an industry with compelling long term growth prospects,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Solomons said in the statement.

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Photo Credit: The first new Holiday Inn signage in the EMEA region is unveiled at both the Holiday Inn London Heathrow and Holiday Inn Farnborough as part of a $1billion global re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand family, the world's biggest and most iconic hotel brand. VisMedia / InterContinental Hotel Group