(Adds analyst comment, share price)
LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - InterContinental Hotels Group , one of the world's largest hoteliers, said it was confident in its outlook after reporting higher than expected growth in its third quarter, lifting its shares.
IHG, which runs over 4,900 hotels under brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental, said its European business was its strongest performer in the three months to the end of September, helping to offset a decline in its Greater China regional operation.
Growth in continental Europe was driven by solid trading in Germany, and higher revenue across southern Europe and Russia and the CIS, reflecting signs of recovery in these markets, IHG said on Tuesday.
Global revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, rose 4.8 percent at constant exchange rates in the third quarter, against the 4.4 percent comparable growth in the second quarter.
"This is slightly ahead of our second half expectations of a 4 percent increase suggesting some modest upside risk to forecast for full year core earnings (EBIT) of $672 million," Shore Capital analysts said.
Shares in IHG, climbed 3.2 percent to 2,386 pence, making the company the top riser on Britain's FTSE 100 index of leading shares.
"Looking ahead to the remainder of this year, we are encouraged by current trading trends and remain confident in the outlook," Chief Executive Richard Solomons said in a statement.
Editing by Keith Weir