Accor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sébastien Bazin.

Multinational hospitality business Accor overcame the challenges of COVID restrictions in 2021 to deliver a 36% revenue increase on FY20 to reach €2,204 million.

At the company’s full-year results announcement on Thursday, Accor reported earnings before interest and taxes of €22 million, and net profit group share of €85 million.

Despite a rocky start to the year, RevPAR improved month after month from April to December, and by the end of the year, increased demand saw average room rates come close to, and in some cases exceed, pre-COVID-19 levels.

Accor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sébastien Bazin, credited the company’s solid performances to financial discipline, the strength of its brands, and the efforts of teams.

“Thanks to their mobilization, we emerge stronger from this crisis and have gained market shares in all our key regions,” Bazin said.

“Moreover, our pipeline continues to flourish, with Luxury and Upscale segment representing close to 40% of future openings, a 12-point increase in the past four years.”

Now that an appetite for travel has resumed globally, Bazin is confident that Accor will make the most of this rebound in all markets.

“In 2022, we will continue to unfold our vision of ever-more experience-driven and sustainable tourism, facilitated by digital technologies. Armed with these strengths, we are confident in our capacity to enduringly continue creating value for our partners as well as our shareholders,” he said.

During 2021, Accor opened 288 hotels, including a total of 41,000 rooms, resulting in 3% net growth in the network. By December 2021, the Group’s portfolio included 777,714 rooms (5,298 hotels) and 214,000 rooms (1,218 hotels) in the pipeline.

Accor said all regions are returning to more “normative” levels of business, and although the Omicron outbreak stalled monthly RevPAR improvement in January, it is already retuning. The Group expects a net unit growth of 3.5% in 2022.

RevPAR on the rise in Asia Pacific

While Asia Pacific RevPAR was down 49% in FY21 compared with FY19, the region experienced a 9ppt increase in between the third and fourth quarters.

In Australia, RevPAR was down 42% for FY21 compared with FY19. This was helped by the gradual reopening of domestic borders in Australia and easing of health restrictions in Sydney from October. Business recovery was confirmed in January 2022 and is expected to continue with the reopening of Australia’s international borders.

The China business is a little less certain, with the region impacted by a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and the introduction of a “zero Covid” policy. RevPAR was down 32% for last year compared with 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, where RevPAR was down 66% in FY21 compared with FY19, there are signs of improvement as vaccination levels increase, notably in Thailand and Indonesia. Accor’s business in Singapore remains closely linked to traveller quarantines.