Accor posts strong UK revenue growth in third quarter

French multinational hotel group Accor has reported a slight slowdown in revenue growth for the third quarter of 2012.

The group saw revenue rise by 1.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the three months to the end of September, compared to 3.6 per cent during the first half of the year, a decline it put down to "unfavourable calendar effects" in several of its key European markets.

However, the group's figures for the UK were much more positive, raising the possibility of further London hotel recruitment by Accor in the near future.

It reported that, in the UK, third quarter like-for-like revenue growth stood at 4.9 per cent for the upscale and midscale market, while the economy segment saw even greater growth at six per cent.

The group said it had "benefited highly" from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer, achieving 100 per cent occupancy rates during the former.

However, it noted that its performance had been partially offset by the closure before and after the Games of several major convention centres in the capital, notably the ExCel centre, as they were prepared for sporting events.

Throughout the quarter as a whole, Accor saw occupancy rates of 83.4 per cent for its upscale and midscale hotels in the UK, compared to an average of 78.7 per cent for the year to date, and a rate of 82.2 per cent for its economy hotels, compared to 78.2 per cent for the first nine months of the year as whole.

Meanwhile, despite difficult market conditions in Europe, the group said it had benefited from robust growth in developing markets, such as Asia and South America.

"In an economic environment which is difficult in Europe and still robust in Asia Pacific and Latin America, Accor continued to expand and remains reasonably optimistic about the end of the year," said the company.

"At the same time, the group is pursuing a sustained development strategy, opening 26,400 rooms during the first nine months of the year, of which over 5,600 in the third quarter, as well as the transformation of its business model."

Berkeley Scott is a leading London hospitality recruitment agency