Accor posts 5.3 pct rise in 2013 profit

PARIS Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:06am EST

PARIS Feb 20 (Reuters) - Accor <ACCP.PA, Europe's largest hotelier, said on Thursday it achieved a 5.3 percent like-for-like rise in full-year operating profit, driven by robust demand in Europe and in emerging markets.

The world's fourth-largest player, whose new chief executive Sebastien Bazin recently unveiled a reorganisation that he said would boost shareholder returns, said it would pay a 2013 dividend of 0.80 euros a share, up from 0.76 euros for 2012.

The French group has nearly 3,500 hotels ranging from the luxury Sofitel to the budget Ibis and competes with InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood Hotels .

Accor said 2013 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached 536 million euros ($737 million), against the company's revised guidance of 530 million and ahead of analysts' average estimate of 529 million in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll. ($1 = 0.7271 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)

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