Weak pound pushes Accor’s occupancy rates higher

The weak pound has helped boost occupancy rates in French hospitality giant Accor’s hotels to an “extremely high” 85% in the third quarter of 2016. Commenting as the business revealed its global financial performance for the period, Accor said that the foreign short-stay leisure sector had strengthened thanks to a falling pound.

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Trends were mixed in the country though, it said, with revpar contracting 2% in London but improving strongly by 5% in the rest of the country.

Overall, Accor appeared hailed a positive global performance with all of its key markets in growth aside from Belgium and France, which was still suffering the ill effects of  recent terror attacks. Revenue in France was down 4.7% following the attack in Nice on 14 July, with Paris revpar down 17.9%, and regional cities up slightly by 0.9%.

Like-for-like third quarter revenue was up 1.8% to €1.54b (£1.37b). Accor’s full-year target for earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) narrowed to between €670m (£598m) and €690m (£616m).

Revenue in the Americas was up 19% on a like-for-like basis. In Asia-Pacific it rose 6.9%, while it climbed 4.1% in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa region.

Business in northern, central and eastern Europe slowed over the summer, resulting in moderate like-for-like revenue growth of 2.4% during the period.

Sébastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive officer of AccorHotels, said: “During the third quarter, AccorHotels has once again delivered a robust performance that is even more remarkable given the particularly unfavorable situation in France during the summer following the terrorist attacks.”

In July, AccorHotels shareholders gave the green light to finalise its acquisition of FRHI Holdings (FRHI), the parent company of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel, and the addition of six new directors.

The portfolio of properties comprises 155 hotels and resorts, including the Savoy in London, Raffles Singapore and the Plaza in New York. As part of the payment, AccorHotels made Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia major shareholders with representation on the board of directors.

Bazin said: “With the integration of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel during the period, the Group has established itself as a leading player in the global luxury hotel business. Our brands are attractive, our development is dynamic and our active management strategy for the HotelInvest property portfolio continues to deliver results. Thanks to these strengths, we have been able to hone our outlook for 2016 and consolidate the significant improvement in our operational and financial performance.”

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