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AccorHotels records £518m profit and reveals new acquisitions

Chairman Sébastien Bazin says increased revenue and profit reflects benefits of recent transformation plan

Pictured: Sébastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of AccorHotels

AccorHotels’ pre-tax profit rose by 10.6 per cent to €665 million (£518m) in 2015 as the firm continues to reap the rewards of its recent restructure.

Revenue was up 2.3 per cent to €5,581m (£4,346m), while net profit rose by 9.4 per cent to €244 million (£190m).

Sébastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of AccorHotels, said: “AccorHotels delivered an outstanding performance in 2015: growth in revenue, a big improvement in earnings and a more robust financial position. The momentum driven by the strategic, operational and cultural transformation and the quality of the performance and motivation of our teams are clearly producing results in all of our businesses. AccorHotels is moving forward, driving its growth and focused on the future. 

“In an extraordinarily volatile global economic context, and at a time when the hospitality industry is reinventing itself, the opportunities available are numerous and the group’s objectives for 2016 are clear: strengthen our position as the world’s leading hotel operator, and continue to significantly improve our operational and financial performance.” 

Accor embarked on a major turnaround in 2013 with the appointment of Bazin after 2012 losses of £490m. 

It returned to profit the following year, and 2015 saw the group record strong growth in Europe and in emerging markets. However, this was offset slightly by difficulties in France, where it was affected by the terrorist attacks in January and November, and in Brazil.

The group’s HotelServices arm saw sound growth, with the rollout of its digital plan and launch of its independent hotels offering.

HotelInvest also saw a strong improvement in performance, with restructuring continuing at 93 hotels in Europe, of which 34 hotels under leases and 59 hotels under direct ownership. These transactions had the effect of reducing adjusted net debt by €458m (£357m). 

Last year saw AccorHotels acquire the Fairmont Raffles Hotels International Group for a combination of £550 million cash and 47 million new shares. It also closed its partnership agreement with Huazhu (China Lodging) and announced the creation of a new franchisee bringing together 85 hotels in Europe. 

Germany and the UK were the main drivers of revenue growth in northern, central and eastern Europe, posting increases of 4.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively for the year. Southern Europe was strong, with revenue up 11.4 per cent in Spain and 9.6 per cent in Italy. 

However, revenue in France was down 0.5 per cent in 2015, reflecting a sharp decline in the fourth quarter (-6.6 per cent) due to the November terror attacks, and despite the COP21 conference in Paris in December. 

The Americas region was down by 3.7 per cent due to the continued deterioration in economic activity in Brazil (down 7.5 per cent in Q4), where business has slowed down across the country, notably affecting seminar and meeting activity in hotels. 

The group opened 36,172 rooms across 229 hotels in 2015, of which 92 per cent were under management contracts or franchise agreements. At December 31, 2015, the HotelServices portfolio comprised 3,873 hotels and 511,517 rooms, of which 30 per cent were under franchise agreements and 70 per cent under management contracts, including the HotelInvest portfolio. 

As well as unveiling its 2015 results, AccorHotels has also acquired stakes in two hotel groups.

The firm has bought a 30 per cent stake in Oasis Collections, the company which pioneered the “Home meets Hotel” category of accommodations. The company was launched in Buenos Aires 2009 and counts 1,500 properties in 18 destinations, in Latin America, the US and Europe.

AccorHotels has also acquired a 49 per cent stake in Squarebreak, the disruptor operator of hotel homes in France. Squarebreak, which offers private upscale properties in resort locations through a digital platform, primarily in France, Spain and Morocco, is a French start-up created in 2013 by Hugues van Heesewijk and Maxime Lesaulnier.

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