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Accor hotels book a return to net profit
AFP Accor hotels book a return to net profit

Paris (AFP) - French hotel group Accor, number six in its sector worldwide, returned to net profit last year and said it was confident for 2014 but did not provide target figures.

The group, the biggest hotel operator in Europe, reported a net profit of 126 million euros ($172.5 million), from a loss of 599 million euros in 2012 owing to the effects of divesting low-cost US chain Motel 6.

Accor, headed by a new chief executive Sebastien Bazin since the end of August, said that the results for 2013 were "solid".

In November, Bazin announced a new strategy based on two core businesses: the management of hotels called HotelServices, and the management of property called HotelInvest.

Operating profit rose by 1.9 percent to 536 million euros, slightly above the company's target of 530 million euros.

Sales, already announced, fell by 2.0 percent to 5.54 billion euros.

The price of shares in the group was showing a fall of 3.03 percent to 35.62 euros in late morning trading.

Bazin told a telephone press conference that in Europe the group had made firm progress in its key markets in Germany, France and Britain.

Performance in Europe had been strong in the first half of the year because of strong activity in European capitals.

In the second half of the year, business outside capital cities had picked up, he said.

Business in emerging markets remained firm and Accor was strengthening its position as a leader in these areas.

At the end of 2013, the group had achieved savings of 37 million euros under a programme for 2013-2014 to save 100 million euros, the company said.