• Accor’s sales grow but room additions are slow

Accor has reported a "solid" like-for-like revenue growth of 4.8% in the first quarter although its overall sales were down 5.1% thanks to disposals and the impact of an earlier Easter holiday.

But more concerning than the rate of sales growth was the comparatively modest room opening count of just 4,600 for the period.

The company is targeting 200,000 new rooms between 2006 and 2010. The slow pace in the first quarter may be just a blip but it will create serious concern if the pace fails to lift. The target for the year is 44,000 and Accor said it was on course to deliver despite signs of financing challenges.

Revpar at Accor's economy hotels outside the US was up 5.3% like-for-like. For US economy hotels the rise was just 0.1%. Upscale and midscale hotels worldwide were up 3.9%.

Accor's revpar in France was up 5.4% for upscale and midscale hotels and up 5.5% for economy hotels, both as reported. This compares to the 7.1% rise in revpar in France according to the sample on MKG Hospitality's database.

Separately, Accor announced last week that it had signed a partnership agreement with property investor Walter Torre to drive faster development of Ibis and Formule 1 chains in Brazil.

The three-year investment plan requires Eu70m from Accor for its 20% stake in the roll out of 13 new Ibis properties and seven new Formule 1 hotels. Currently, Accor has 140 hotels in Brazil with almost 23,000 rooms.

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