Accor posts 6.4 pct drop in H1 profit

PARIS Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:10am EDT

PARIS Aug 28 (Reuters) - Accor, Europe's largest hotel group, posted a 6.4 percent drop in first-half operating profit on Wednesday amid a tough economic climate in Europe but said summer business was robust and that the trend should continue in the second half.

The company, which on Tuesday named private equity specialist Sebastien Bazin new chairman and chief executive, said benefits from cost savings in Europe would kick in mostly in the second half and predicted 2013 operating profit of 510 million to 530 million euros against 526 million in 2012.

This was below the average estimate of 535 million euros ($717 million) in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.

Europe's largest hotel group makes more than 70 percent of its sales in the region and is more exposed to its ailing economy than larger rivals InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood. ($1 = 0.7466 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)

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