Accor pins its hopes on lifestyle hotels as it posts €2bn loss in 2020

Accor chief executive Sébastien Bazin.

Accor lost nearly €2 billion during 2020 as the Covid crisis continues to savage the accommodation sector.

The hotel giant took immediate steps to cut its expenditure from a monthly average of €79 million during the first half of the year to an average €42 million for the second half.

“In 2020, the hotel industry navigated an unprecedented crisis,” Accor chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin said in the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings report.

“[Accor’s] rollout of measures to protect its financials was quick and disciplined. The measures delivered benefits over the second half of the year, and helped to limit the impact of the health crisis.”

Bazin said that while 85 per cent of its hotels were currently open some were only recording between 5 per cent and 10 per cent occupancy.

Accor’s consolidated fourth-quarter revenue per available room was down 66.2 percent year over year. Occupancy reached 31.7 percent, down 37.6 percentage points on a like-for-like basis. Average daily rate declined 18.7 percent.

The Asia-Pacific region was the least affected of its operations with RevPAR down 51.5 percent for the quarter. Occupancy was at 48.7 percent, down 23.6 percentage points.

This compared with Europe, which saw the RevPAR decline 73.1 percent year over year. Occupancy was 22.5 percent for the region, down 46.5 percentage points.

The North America, Central America and Caribbean region was the worst performing sector, with RevPAR for the quarter down 81.5 percent year over year, while occupancy reached just 17.3 percent, down 51.8 percentage points.

Looking ahead, Bazin said lifestyle hotels were the path to success.

“I’m a big believer that lifestyle will account for probably more than 20 percent of all the offerings of hotels in this planet over the next 20 years,” he said.

“It is what individuals want, something more unique. So we made a long bet and a big bet in creating Ennismore. It’s a major acceleration and statement of where Accor should be positioning ourselves without forgetting our legacy plans.”