AccorHotels' performance improves as France's first-quarter revenue revives

Last year, Paris-based AccorHotels blamed terror attacks in France for a revenue decline in the first quarter of 2016.

Things are looking brighter now: AccorHotels’ revenue has improved slightly despite the recent hotel occupancy slump in France, one of the company's highest-earning markets. First-quarter occupancy and performance rates increased in France, Germany and Britain.

The French hotel group reported that Q1 revenue rose 35 percent year-on-year to $456.8 million. While there was a 3.1-percent like-for-like increase in the previous three months, the first quarter had a 7.4-percent like-for-like increase, not including acquisitions and currency effects.

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Like-for-like revenue in France and Switzerland was still down in the first quarter.

The terrorist attacks in France has not been helpful for France’s tourism industry. However, AccorHotels CFO Jean-Jaques Morin claimed in a statement there are signs of recovery in France as the country’s hotel occupancy slowly improves. For the first time since 2015, average revenue per room was also positive.

While Europe and Asia saw sharp growth, Brazil faced a tough first quarter. Not only is the economy still dealing with the repercussions of the recession, but also hotel chains are struggling to rebound from last year’s overcapacity issue during the Rio Olympics Games.  

AccorHotels operates more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, including high-end brands like Raffles and Sofitel, and budget chains, such as Ibis.

To offset revenue drops and the company’s restructuring, AccorHotels has been cutting costs. The company plans to expand in the luxury hotel side of the market and invest in new areas, such as concierge services. The hotel company intends to gain a competitive edge against apartment-sharing websites, like Airbnb, in the market.

Its restructuring plans also include selling a major stake in its AccorInvest property unit with over $7.1 billion. Morin announced that talks are already under way with French and international investors.

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