Accor continues consistent global network growth

Pictured: rendering of Novotel Überseequartier-Hamburg Süd.
Accor’s continual hotel expansion is progressing apace according to the latest figures from its 2022 accounting.

In 2022, the group opened 299 hotels, corresponding to 43,000 rooms, which equates to a net organic growth in the network of 3.2% over the 12-month period.

State of play

At end-December 2022, Accor had a hotel portfolio of 802,269 rooms, which represents a 1.7% growth in just one quarter, from end-September’s 789,152 rooms. Likewise the number of sites grew 1.6% quarter on quarter, from 5,357 to 5,445 hotels.

The group’s pipeline is also persistently increasing, with end-December’s total of 216,000 keys being 1.9% larger than the previous quarter’s 212,000 rooms. In terms of hotel numbers the growth was even more rapid, with end-2002’s 1,247 projects being 2.4% more than end-September’s 1,218 sites.

Reorganisation drive

During 2022, Accor reshaped its organisation in several ways. Last July, the group announced its intention to restructure in order to capitalise on the transformation undertaken in recent years, consolidate its leadership positions, focus its efforts, strengthen its know-how, accelerate its growth and continue to improve its profitability.

This meant that from October, the firm reorganised into two divisions,  the economy, midscale and premium division, including the group’s ibis, Novotel, Mercure, Swissôtel, Mövenpick and Pullman brands; and the luxury and lifestyle division, bringing together Accor’s luxury brands as well as the group’s lifestyle entity, Ennismore.

To support the implementation and ensure the roll-out of this new structure, Accor’s board of directors has now confirmed its support for the group’s leadership and unanimously proposed the renewal of Sébastien Bazin’s term as chairman and CEO at the annual general meeting called to approve the 2022 financial statements.

Corporate moves

Furthermore, the group made several corporate moves throughout the past year. Last September it sold its Paris headquarters to the Valesco Group for a total of €465 million. The deal included a 12-year sale and leaseback component, as part of the group’s asset-light strategy aimed at simplifying Accor’s balance sheet structure.

Staying in France, in November, Accor exercised its option to take control of luxury hospitality player, Paris Society. The move reinforces the firm’s Ennismore division’s strong expertise in this field by bringing its experience in the high-end catering and event management sector.

Shortly afterwards, Accor sold a 10.8% stake in its Ennismore subsidiary, a lifestyle hotel operator which was owned at 66.67% and resulting from the merger in October 2021 with Ennismore Holdings Ltd (EHL), to a Qatari consortium for €185 million. Prior to the disposal, the group transferred to Ennismore its holdings in Rixos, a 70%-owned hotel operator specialised in all-inclusive business in the Middle East, and Paris Society.

Then in January 2023, Accor disposed of its remaining shares of Chinese firm, H Group World Ltd (Huazhu), for €276 million. Also part of the asset-light strategy, the transaction aimed to finalise the value creation of the investment initiated in 2016.

Serene future

Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of Accor, analysed the group’s progress last year, saying: “Tourism recovered substantially in 2022 and our performances, up strongly in all regions, reflected that rebound. We exceeded our financial and non-financial targets and can look to the future with serenity. Our brands are attractive, our distribution is powerful, our teams are talented and motivated, and our organisation has been adapted to capture future growth even more effectively.

“These strengths combined with the genuine culture of the group, placing people and talents in the heart of its model, give meaning to our action. In 2023, our ambition is to keep our growth and reinforce our leadership by continuing to evolve the codes of the hospitality industry and remain the chosen partner of our hotel owners and customers.”

Immediate openings

Within the THP database there are 480 records relating to high end Accor projects, encompassing over 100,000 keys. Our information suggests that four and five star developments are closely matched in the pipeline, with 243 upscale sites and 237 luxury properties represented, equating to a 51/49% split.

More immediate openings seem to be the order of the day for the group’s premium hotel segments. At least 173 sites are due to come online this year, delineating 36% of our Accor listings. A further 24%/114 hotels are scheduled for 2024, while the rate currently drops to 52 in 2025. 2026 will see at least another 19 projects, while the remaining 122 developments are either planned for further in the future or have yet to be designated a delivery date.

Asian focus

Drilling down into the geographical spread, we see a preponderance of Asia developments, with at least 248 sites, representing 52% of our Accor entries, within the continent. Europe’s more mature market looks to have less than half that amount, with 106 projects equating to 22% of the pipeline. Africa is next with at least 51 additions, followed by North America with 39, Oceania with 20 and South America bringing up the rear on 16.

Asian countries also head the list in individual country and city counts. China tops the nation stakes on at least 93 projects, with Vietnam far behind in the runners-up spot on 24 and Saudi Arabia close to that on 23. The UAE’s Dubai and the Philippines capital Manila lead the city charge on six sites each, while China’s Chengdu, and Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh and Jeddah share second spot on five each.

Notable Novotel

Four star brand Novotel comes top of the THP data, with at least 56 developments in the offing. Lifestyle upscale brand Pullman Hotels & Resorts is second on 46, with upper midscale Mercure Hotels and luxury Fairmont Hotels & Resorts rounding out the podium on 38 each.

One of the Novotel projects attracting the most attention is the 163-key Novotel Überseequartier-Hamburg Süd, which will join sister Accor group brands Pullman, Novotel and ibis Styles to collectively open around 830 rooms in Q4 2023 within a mixed-use district on the river Elbe within the German Hanseatic city.

And a Middle Eastern project making waves is Rixos Dubai Hotel & Suites – Jewel of the Creek which will deliver 770 luxury keys within a mixed use complex in the UAE tourist hub during Q3 2024.