PARIS Feb 22 AccorHotels, Europe's
largest hotelier, posted a forecast-beating 3.8 percent rise in
like-for-like operating profit last year, helped by
restructuring efforts and a fourth quarter marked by some
improvement in its core French market.
AccorHotels said a plan to turn property unit HotelInvest -
whose assets are worth 6.6 billion euros ($7 billion) - into a
subsidiary in 2017 ahead of then selling the majority of its
capital to institutional investors would give it significant
headroom for expansion.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 696
million euros in 2016. This compared with a revised company's
guidance of between 670 million to 690 million euros. Analysts
polled by Financial Inquiry for Reuters expected 676 million
($1 = 0.9486 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)