French hotel giant Accor plunges into red as virus hits

A woman passes by a closed main entrance of an Ibis hotel as a lockdown is imposed to slow down the spread of Covid-19 in France March 28, 2020. — Reuters pic
A woman passes by a closed main entrance of an Ibis hotel as a lockdown is imposed to slow down the spread of Covid-19 in France March 28, 2020. — Reuters pic

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PARIS, Feb 24 — French hotel giant Accor said today it plunged into the red last year as the coronavirus pandemic devastated the hotel and hospitality business worldwide.

Ranked number six globally, Accor reported sales down some 60 per cent at €1.6 billion (RM7.9 billion), producing a net loss of just under €2.0 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Factset and Bloomberg had expected revenues of €1.85 billion and a net loss of €1.26 billion.

The company, which runs chains such as Ibis, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Pullman, has seen its business devastated by the pandemic which has brought international travel and the hospitality and tourism sectors to a virtual halt.

Revenue per room collapsed by 62 per cent for full year 2020 and was down more than 88 per cent in the second quarter at the height of the first wave.

“This unprecedented fall reflects the global deterioration in the business environment caused by lockdowns and the closing of international borders in an effort to curb the pandemic,” Accor said in a statement.

Accor noted that after the pandemic battered results in the second quarter of the year, there was a noticeable pick-up in the third quarter in all regions as economies re-opened over the summer holidays.

This recovery however then came to a halt as governments re-introduced restrictions to cope with a fresh upsurge of coronavirus cases.

Accor said it hoped for better times this year as vaccination programmes allow an easing of restrictions, although caution “unfortunately remains the watchword” given uncertainties about how the pandemic will develop. — AFP

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