Last year was a tale of two Europes, according to latest full-year sales figures from French hospitality giant Accor.
While its hotels in eastern Europe and the UK, along with the US, Asia and Latin America, all reported a strong recovery on 2003, France, Spain and Italy remained in the doldrums.
Overall, like-for-like sales for the year came in 4.6% ahead of 2003, at €7.1b (£4.9b).
Hotel revenues for the year were up by 4.1%, with its mid and upper range hotels reporting the best figures, up by 5%.
Revenues from its economy hotels rose by 3.2% in Europe and 2.6% in the USA.
Looking at the final three months of the year, mid- and upper-range hotels reported 4.2% growth, with France coming in at 1.6% and the rest of Europe up by 3%, against 2% in the previous quarter.
Economy hotels in that period reported steady growth of 2.5%, with the USA up by 4.7%.
In the UK, occupancy levels rose by 1.1 percentage points to 75%, with the average room rate rising by 5.4%. Revenue per available room (revpar) was up by 6.9%.
In France, by comparison, occupancy levels were up by just 0.4 percentage points, at 69.1%, with room rate up by 1.1% and revpar up by 1.7%.
The occupancy rate across the board in its European mid- and upper-range hotels was 63.3%, a 1.1 percentage point rise, with average room rate up by 0.2% and revpar ahead by 1.9%.
At the economy end of the market, occupancy was 72.7%, ahead by 0.6 points, with average room rate up by 2.5% and revpar up by 3.3%.
Elsewhere in the business, revenues from Accor's casinos, travel agencies, restaurants and onboard train services rose by 4.7% on a like-for-like basis, it said.
The company also predicted that full-year pre-tax profits, which it reports separately, would come in at between €570m (£395m) and €590m (£409m).
by Nic Paton
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