Hotels group Accor SA on Wednesday reported a 76 percent jump in full-year profit, lifted by a strong performance from its hotels business in Europe and proceeds from selling properties and noncore assets.
Accor said full-year net profit was euro883 million (US$1.3 billion) compared to euro501 million a year earlier, falling below analyst expectations of euro950 million (US$1.4 billion) according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll.
The full-year net profit included euro319 million (US$480 million) in capital gains on real estate disposals in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as a capital gain of euro204 million (US$307 million) on the disposal of travel agency Go Voyages and a capital loss of euro174 million (US$262 million) in connection with the sale of Red Roof Inn, in the United States.
The company's operating profit before tax and nonrecurring items amounted to euro907 million (US$1.36 billion), up 25 percent compared to euro727 million a year earlier.
Accor, which recently launched the Pullman brand of hotels targeting international business travelers, confirmed it recorded full year sales up 6.8 percent at euro8.12 billion (US$12.22 billion), as reported in January.
Revenue at the hotel division in the full year grew 7.8 percent, due to the "continued upturn in the hotel cycle in Europe that began in mid-2005," while revenue of the services division grew 16.5 percent, mostly due to acquisitions, Accor said.
Accor is feeling a slowdown in the United States, Chief Executive Gilles Pelisson said in a news conference, noting that no such trend was experienced in Europe. Accor has less exposure on the hotels segment in the United States after it sold the Red Roof Inn company there, he said.
Accor shares were down 6.07 percent at euro49.97 (US$75.17) Wednesday in mid-afternoon trading. Shares have shed 2.7 percent since January, against an 11 percent drop in the CAC-40 index since the beginning of the year.