Accor reports 2020 loss, flags recovery in several markets


EUROPE’S biggest hotel group Accor reported an annual loss on Wednesday, as coronavirus lockdowns and border closures weighed throughout the year, but noted signs of improvement in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America in the fourth quarter of 2020 and in January 2021.

Accor, which had to close many of its hotels last year, is now running at reduced capacity with many countries, particularly in Europe, going back into lockdown, implementing curfews or increasing travel restrictions to tackle coronavirus infections and new variants of the virus.

The French company, which operates more than 5,000 hotels in around 110 countries, noted that 82 per cent of its hotels were open as of end-December, compared with 90 per cent at end-September.

“However, excluding Europe, revenue per available room, a gauge of performance, has increased steadily since the low-point of the second quarter,” finance chief Jean-Jacques Morin said on a call with reporters.

He added that he saw a return to 2019 levels around 2023-2024.

The group, which runs high-end chains such as Raffles and Sofitel as well as budget brands such as Ibis, swung to a loss of 391 million euros (S$627.59 million) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in 2020, compared to a profit of 825 million euros in 2019.

Its net loss for the year reached almost two billion euros.

Accor also confirmed the swift rollout of the 200-million euro recurring cost-savings plan announced in August 2020. REUTERS