A majority stake sale in the capital of AccorInvest for more than €2.4 billion (AUD$3.8 billion) has contributed to a strong financial result for AccorHotels in the first half of 2018, according to official figures released by the group yesterday.

Group-wide revenues were up 8% year-on-year for the period while EBITDA totalled €291 million – an increase of 4.2% year-on-year. Overall net profit closed at €2.179 billion, supplemented by an additional 7% sale for €250 million. The group is forecasting a full-year EBITDA target of between €690 million and €720 million once books close on 31 December.

Major contributing factors included a number of brand acquisitions and integrations in key global markets, including the Mantra Group in Australia, Mantis in South Africa and French brand Gekko. Momentum will not be letting up in the second half of the year, with Movenpick (Middle-East), Atton (South America) and sbe (USA) all set to join the group. ‘New Business’ dominated revenue changes for the half-year, representing more than a 61% boost in group earnings.

Midscale hotels led the way for the half-year in terms of occupancy at a global average of 68.2%, closely followed by Economy brands at 67.6%. RevPAR improvement was also strongest in the Midscale sector, growing at a healthy 5.4%.

The first half of the year saw 301 new hotels added to the global portfolio, representing more than 45,000 rooms. Organically by itself, AccorHotels opened 135 new hotels and nearly 20,000 rooms with the global pipeline strengthening further to close for the half-year at 959 hotels and 167,000 rooms worldwide.

Looking outside the hotel business, the group’s previously announced intent to purchase a minority stake in Air France-KLM has been abandoned due to conditions of the deal not being met in time.

AccorHotels Chairman and CEO Sebastien Bazin said the company’s first half results reflected the ongoing transformation of its business model.

“Today, AccorHotels operates more than 4,500 hotels and 650,000 rooms around the world, the majority of which are located outside Europe. Underpinned by a reinforced pipeline, the Group’s strong prospects mean it is firmly on track to achieving its medium-term targets.”