Accor has reported higher-than-expected first-half operating profits and raised its 2010 guidance, led by a resurgent business travel sector.
The improvement was driven by higher occupancy and room prices in the mid- and upmarket brands, which include Sofitel, Pullman and Novotel.
Net losses at Europe’s largest hotel group fell to €64m in the six months to June 30 from a loss of €236m in the same period last year.
Gilles Pélisson, chairman and chief executive, said that without the €85m cost of demerging its ticket voucher business in July, Accor would have made a net profit of €12m.
He added that Accor had capitalised on the recovery in the UK and Germany. He described bookings in September and October as “rather good”, but remained “cautious” about the end of the year.
Pélisson said that the only region to suffer from falling sales and profit margins was the US where trading was “difficult”.
Accor is in the middle of a transformation, having split off its services business in order to concentrate on hotel management. He said the group was on track with its asset disposal programme, having raised €489m this year.
Accor opened 93 hotels in the first six months of which 39 per cent were in Europe, 22 per cent in Asia and 18 per cent in North America.