Accor hotel chain sees first-half profit jump

8th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 8 (AFP) - The French hotel chain Accor said Wednesday that pre-tax first-half profit had jumped 25 percent to EUR 225 million (USD 270 million) as business picked up in high-end hotels abroad.

PARIS, Sept 8 (AFP) - The French hotel chain Accor said Wednesday that pre-tax first-half profit had jumped 25 percent to EUR 225 million (USD 270 million) as business picked up in high-end hotels abroad.  

Analysts had forecast pretax profit in the range of between EUR 214 million and EUR 255 million.  

Accor, a global group operating 4,000 hotels and 200 leisure properties, said in a statement: "Net income totalled EUR 81 million, a decline of EUR 25 million due to higher capital gains recorded in first-half 2003.  

"In hotels, the situation was mixed depending on the country and its position in the economic cycle."  

The upscale segment in the United States, Britain, Asia-Pacific, South America and certain European countries showed strong gains on a like-for-like basis, while the economy segment in the US and France was not as strong, the group said.  

Overall, earnings before income tax, depreciation, amortization and operating leases (EBITDAR) rose to EUR 856 million from EUR 817 million, while operating margin rose slightly to 24.9 percent from 24.7 percent.  

"The services business enjoyed continued growth in all its markets, with an improvement in margins. EBITDAR rose by 19.3 percent on a like-for-like basis," Accor said.   Group sales increased to EUR 3.443 billion from EUR 3.306 billion.  

The first half of 2004 was marked by several strategic advances, Accor said, including the opening of more than 100 hotels, acquisition of a 28.9 percent stake in the leisure group Club Mediterranee and a casino alliance with the Lucien Barriere group.  

For the full year the group foresees pre-tax profit of between EUR 570 million and EUR 590 million, compared with EUR 523 million in 2003.  

While Accor chairman Jean-Marc Espalioux said he was "confident about the future," the share price lost ground here Wednesday and was down 5.77 percent at EUR 32.99 in early afternoon trade.  

Analysts said the forecast for 2004 was seen as disappointing and was less than consensus predictions.  

But Espalioux maintained that Accor had made made substantial progress in sectors outside Europe and the US economy class hotel market.  

The group said for example that the luxury hotel market in the United States, Britain, Asia-Pacific and certain countries of continental Europe had shown big gains at the operating level.  

Espalioux also attributed this year's modest targets to Accor's preference for "caution" and "seriousness."

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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