Europe’s biggest hotelier ups asset disposal

Accor aims to accelerate disposal of hotels to reduce debt problem

Accor, owner of Novotel, Mercure, Sofitel, Motel 6 and other brands, says that it will bring forward an earlier three-year plan to dispose of assets. Involving the sell-off more than the 450 hotels it originally planned to, this will reduce its debt over the coming two years by €1.2 billion.
Increased occupancy at its hotels during 2010 has helped Accor to double its earnings to €446 million before interest and taxes, while room rates are rising in upscale and midscale hotels on average. The company reports strong growth in emerging markets, but growth in Europe is weaker.
In a statement, new CEO Denis Hennequin confirmed: “Our objective will be to accelerate the execution of our strategy.” Meanwhile, market analyst Matthias Desmarais said in a note to clients: “There seems to be no real change in strategy and the outlook remains unchanged.”
Bloomberg
[pictured: Novotel Genova Ovest]