UPDATE 1-Accor Q3 growth slows as southern Europe drags

Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:21pm EDT

* Keeps full-year EBIT, revenue outlook

* Sees 'sustained robust demand' in Q4

* Like-for-like revenue growth slows to 1.3 pct (Adds details)

PARIS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Accor, Europe's largest hotel group, said revenue growth slowed in the third quarter as tough business conditions worsened in recession-hit southern Europe.

The French company, with more than 4,400 hotels ranging from the luxury Sofitel to the budget Ibis chains, said that it was reasonably optimistic for the end of the year as demand in Asia and Latin America was still solid. It kept its full-year revenue and operating profit outlook.

Accor forecast "sustained robust demand" in the fourth quarter bolstered by the Paris Motor Show, an upturn in convention activity in London and a still favourable trade show calendar, among other factors.

Accor said it was still expecting that 2012 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) would be in a range of 510-530 million euros against 515 million in 2011, restated for the sale of U.S. budget hotel chain Motel 6.

Accor, which trails the InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood chains in the global market, said third-quarter sales reached 1.485 billion euros ($1.93 billion).

Like-for-like revenue grew 1.3 percent, against 3.1 percent in the second quarter.

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The company, which sold its discount Motel 6 chain for $1.9 billion in May, is accelerating its growth in emerging markets and stepping up its shift to an "asset light" business model - operating more hotels under contracts rather than owning them - to cut debt.

($1 = 0.7679 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan and Christian Plumb)

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