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French company Accor traded as a stand-alone
hotel group for the first time on Friday after the other half of its business,
the employee voucher specialist Edenred, was demerged and listed as a public
company. The split follows an overwhelming majority decision by shareholders on
June 30 to divide the company in two.
The rump Accor hotel business is aiming to
improve its cash position by selling off more of its owned properties and
switching to being a franchisor of familiar brands, such as Sofitel and
Mercure. It aims to be the world’s leading hotel franchisor and one of the top
three hotel groups by 2015. During that period, it intends to reduce the
proportion of owned or fixed-lease properties in its portfolio from 40 percent
to 23 percent. There are currently 4,100 hotels worldwide with an Accor-owned
brand name above their front door.
Accor said this week that revenues in the first
quarter of 2010 were up 2.8 percent for its upper and midscale brands and 2.7
percent for economy brands with the exception of U.S. budget chain Motel 6,
which was down 7.5 percent. Last year, total hotel revenue fell 10.1 percent.