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French hotels and services company Accor SA (AC.FR) Tuesday said first quarter sales rose 3.1% lifted by its upper-range hotels, as a recovery began.
Revenue for the quarter to March 31 was EUR1.67 billion, up from EUR1.62 billion a year ago, beating expectations for EUR1.63 billion according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll of four analysts.
Upscale and midscale hotels, which include the Pullman, Novotel and Mercure brands, led the recovery, Accor said. The company added it sees a six-month lag in recovery for its economy hotels.
Accor, the second largest hotels group worldwide in terms of market capitalization after U.S.-based Marriott International (MAR), is in the process of splitting into two separate listed companies. Earlier Tuesday, the company said listing the services business is scheduled for July 2, subject to shareholder approval.
The group will reveal the new name of the services company, which sells vouchers to human resources departments seeking benefits for employees, in early June.
Accor shares have risen over 14% over the past three months, outpacing a 2.3% rise in the Paris CAC-40 index over the same period, as signs of improvement in the hotels business begin to emerge.
Accor shares closed Tuesday at EUR42.64.
-By Mimosa Spencer, Dow Jones Newswires; +33 1 40 17 17 73; firstname.lastname@example.org