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Accor’s spin-off hotels group details its growth plans as seeks to expand

ACCOR Hospitality, the hotel unit of France’s Accor, said more than half of its 2010 plan to sell assets to cut debt had been secured by the end of April and that it was stepping up expansion in Europe and Asia.

The company, aiming to grab the world number three spot by 2015 and become Europe’s largest franchisor after its split from Accor Services, said the first-quarter recovery in its key revenue per average room gauge continued in April and the first half of May.

With 4,100 hotels ranging from luxury brand Sofitel to budget Ibis and Motel 6 across 90 countries, Accor Hospitality ranks fourth behind the InterContinental, Marriott and Hilton and Starwood chains.

Accor Hospitality expects asset disposals this year to have a €450m (£386m) impact, of which more than 50 per cent had been secured by the end of last month. Chief executive Gilles Pelisson said the planned split from the services unit would speed up Accor’s shift towards a more asset-light business model that would boost Return on Capital Employed and cash flows.