French hotel giant Accor has confirmed it will increase its 2012 dividend by 17 per cent on the back of higher operating profits.
Robust emerging markets made up for a more difficult economic climate in Europe, seeing earnings before interest and tax reached €526 million.
The compares to company guidance of €510-530 million and exactly in line with analysts’ average estimate of €526 million.
The world’s fourth-largest player, Accor trails only InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood Hotels in terms of size.
Accor also said today it would accelerate its shift to an asset light business model - operating more hotels under contracts rather than owning them.
It said this strategy would cut net debt by €2 billion euros by 2016.
In the UK, following a number of openings during 2012, Accor now has 197 hotels including 89 ibis, 31 Novotel and 74 Mercures.
Accor also opened its first Pullman in the UK and a second MGallery.