* Q3 revenue 1.4 bln eur, up 3.8 pct like-for-like
* Expects Q4 business trends to be similar to Q3
* Keeps 2013 operating profit goal
* Booking levels for October "good" - CFO
(Adds CFO comments, details)
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, Oct 17 Accor, Europe's largest
hotel group by sales, said revenue growth accelerated in the
third quarter as demand for rooms in budget hotels showed
further signs of recovery.
The French company, with nearly 3,500 hotels ranging from
the luxury Sofitel to the budget Ibis chain, said fourth-quarter
business trends would be similar to the third quarter and kept
its full-year outlook.
"Accor remains confident for the last part of the year,
thanks to solid demand in Europe and the growth dynamic in
emerging markets," Chief Financial Officer Sophie Stabile told
Booking levels for the month of October were "good", she
Accor, which competes with InterContinental,
Marriott and Starwood, said revenue reached 1.44
billion euros ($1.97 billion), a like-for-like rise of 3.8
percent, following a rise of 3.3 percent in the second quarter
The group, which has been increasingly managing hotels
rather than owning them to cut debt and save cash, also
benefited in the quarter from a sharp rise in revenue from
management and franchise fees.
Accor said it was still expecting 2013 operating profit of
510 to 530 million euros, versus the 526 million made in 2012.
Revenue in the upscale and midscale hotel segments grew 3.6
percent like-for-like in the quarter, thanks to strong demand
from leisure customers during the summer and business customers
in September in France, Northern Europe, Asia-Pacific and the
Revenue from economy hotels grew 4.2 percent like-for-like,
accelerating from 2.4 pct in the second quarter. All markets
conributed to the growth, and particularly Northern Europe.
The first nine months marked further expansion with the
opening of 14,100 rooms, 82 percent of which are under
management franchise and management contracts, and 52 percent in
emerging markets, Accor said.
Accor, which will hold an investor day on Nov. 27, gave no
details on the strategy of new Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin,
who was appointed in August.
Analysts have said they expect Bazin to speed Accor's shift
towards franchising or managing hotels for others rather than
owning them and to focus on cost cuts to boost profit margins.
Shares in Accor have gained around 21 percent since the start
of 2013, outperforming a 16 percent rise in the CAC-40 index of
French blue chips.
($1 = 0.7319 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Geert De Clercq)