Accor announces 80% of its portfolio will be managed or franchised by 2016

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel chains, Accor

Accor has announced by the end of 2016 40 per cent of its portfolio will consist of managed properties such as the recently-opened MGallery Francis Hotel Bath
Accor has announced by the end of 2016 40 per cent of its portfolio will consist of managed properties such as the recently-opened MGallery Francis Hotel Bath
Global hotel operator Accor has revealed it has increased its 'asset-light' target and now aims to own or lease just 20 per cent of the hotels in its expanding portfolio by the end of 2016.

The change in target was announced in the France-based company's half-year financial results and means in just over four years time 40 per cent of the Accor hotel rooms will be in managed hotels and another 40 per cent in franchised venues.

Brand focus

The operator, which saw 48 of its hotels change ownership structure in the first half of the year, has increased its target as it aims to build stronger brands and reduce consolidated debt by more than €2bn. 85 per cent of new hotels opened so far this year have been as managed or franchised venues.

In Europe the changed target will result in the creation of a brand-based operating organization at the beginning of next year which will see leading executives take charge and focus of particular brands across a wider geographical area.

Jonathan Sheard, the current UK and Ireland managing director of the mid-scale Mercure and MGallery brands will see his remit increase to encompass much of Northern Europe. 

Sheard, who started his Accor career as a Novotel general manager, spoke exclusively to BigHospitality at the opening of the managed MGallery Francis Hotel Bath for a video interview​ in which he revealed more Mercure hotels could be re-branded as MGallery properties - as was the case with the Bath venue. 

Solid

In its half-year financial results, the Ibis and Sofitel operator revealed a 'solid' growth in revenue with like-for-like sales up 3.6 per cent. Trading conditions, described as 'generally stable' in Europe, were best in key markets and capital cities.

Economy hotels fared better than their mid-scale and up-scale counterparts but only marginally by half a per cent with the former experiencing like-for-like growth of 4 per cent in the six months to the end of June. Profit margins in the economy portfolio showed strong improvement in the period.

A quarter of new hotel rooms opened in the first half of the year were in Europe with expansion plans continuing as more than 100,000 rooms asround the world remain in the pipeline for the period leading up to 2016.

Looking to the future, Accor revealed revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by 0.2 per cent in the economy sector in July and by 2.9 per cent like-for-like in the same month. Apart from in southern Europe, where conditions are 'deteriorating', Accor said it had 'not yet observed any tangible signs of a downturn in demand.'

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