PARIS, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Accor, Europe’s largest hotel group, posted a forecast-beating 17.6 percent rise in first-half operating profit on Tuesday, helped by stronger demand for hotel rooms in all regions except France, and said business trends remained stable during the summer.
The company, whose 14 hotel brands range from budget Ibis to luxury Sofitel, also predicted 2014 operating profit of 575 million to 595 million euros ($759-785 million), compared with an adjusted operating profit of 521 million in 2013.
First-half operating profit of 219 million euros beat the average estimate in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 205 million. Analysts on average were expecting full-year operating profit of 597 million.
The world’s fourth-largest hotel group behind global rivals InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood is undergoing a reorganisation initiated by private equity specialist Sebastien Bazin, who took over as CEO a year ago. (1 US dollar = 0.7575 euro) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)