UPDATE 1-Hotels group Accor confirms 2012 profit target
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PARIS Jan 17 (Reuters) - Accor, Europe's largest hotel group, on Thursday confirmed its operating profit goal for 2012 after fourth-quarter underlying sales growth increased 2.5 percent to 1.38 billion euros ($1.83 billion).
Quarterly sales at the world's fourth-largest hotel group showed that conditions in austerity-hit Spain and Italy remained challenging, while trading in France benefited from the Paris Motor Show.
Accor, which owns more than 4,400 hotels worldwide, said full-year sales rose 2.7 percent on a comparable basis to 5.57 billion euros.
Quarterly sales of economy hotel rooms rose 2.1 percent, while upscale and middle-range hotel rooms increased 2.4 percent.
Accor confirmed that it still expected to post an increase in full-year 2012 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to between 510-530 million euros, compared with 515 million euros in 2011.
"In an economic environment that remains uncertain in Europe, and with demand still strong in most Asia-Pacific and Latin American countries, Accor enjoyed a solid revenue performance in fourth-quarter 2012, in line with prior-quarter trends," the group said.
Results will be published on February 20. ($1 = 0.7521 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Leila Abboud; Editing by Christian Plumb)
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