Accor declares ‘worst of crisis behind us’

Hotel giant Accor declared “the worst of the crisis behind us” as it reported “a marked recovery” in business in the three months to September.

Accor recorded third-quarter revenue of just €329 million, down 64% year on year, and continues to burn almost 80 million per month in cash. Yet the group reported “a recovery in business in all regions, most especially in Europe during the summer season”.

It noted a downturn in leisure customers and the introduction of new restrictions from the end of August “pushed the recovery down in September”.

However, by the end of last month the group had 4,600 hotels operating or 90% of the total.

Accor chairman and chief executive Sébastien Bazin said: “Our performances during the third quarter point to a marked recovery of business during the summer season.

“The worst of the crisis is now behind us, but our main markets are still substantially affected by the measures rolled out to combat the health crisis. Only China reports solid performances and should swiftly recover its activity level pre-crisis.”

Group revenue per available room (RevPAR) was down 63% in the third quarter, but in Europe it fell just under 57%.

Accor third-quarter RevPAR in France was down 45% year on year compared with 89% down in the second quarter following “a recovery in leisure customers in the provinces during the summer season”.

RevPAR in Paris remained 72% down due to the absence of international customers.

In the UK, RevPAR fell by 80%, but while London was down 92% the fall in the UK regions was lower at 67%. RevPAR In Spain fell by 77% in the third quarter.

Accor in Germany fared better, reporting a 61% fall in RevPAR but noting “a huge reduction in business customers, particularly from abroad”.

The brightest spot was in China where third-quarter RevPAR was down by 29% and September RevPAR by 17%, confirming a “recovery of business observed in the second quarter”.

Accor recorded a RevPAR decline of 83% across North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

The group reported a “solid liquidity position” with more than €4 billion available at the end of September.

Despite the crisis, Accor opened 57 hotels with 7,800 rooms during the third quarter of the year, expanding the group to 5,121 hotels and more than 750,000 rooms.

It has 1,192 hotels and 208,000 rooms in the pipeline.

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