Accor sees profits rocket

Hotel group Accor has seen a sharp rise in profits in the first half of this year, with turnover and pre- and post-tax profits up significantly. According to the group’s interim results for the first six months of 2006, turnover climbed 8.4% to £2,506 against the same period in 2005, pre-tax profits leapt by 37% to £191m and profits after tax jumped a massive 54% to £164m. The latter was helped in no small way by a capital gain of £88m from the sale of 68 French and Belgian properties from across its Novotel, Mercure and Ibis chains to real estate investor Foncière des Murs in March this year. Accor now rents and manages these properties and has continued the trend with the sale of its 50% stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel for £248m in August. The interim report reveals plans for a further £340m-worth of divestment by the end of 2008 as Accor seeks to rationalise its estate. Against this it is planning £340m of investment in acquisitions by 2010.

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