Business

Sofitel and Ibis firm Accor enjoys rising room demand

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Image caption Accor brands range from budget to luxury

Cost-cutting and an increased demand for rooms helped hotel giant Accor more than double its operating profit in the first half of 2010.

It made 154m euros ($195m; £126m) in the period, as sales grew by 6.1%.

And its shares climbed as investors welcomed its plan to trim debt levels by 600m euros to 650m euros this year.

Accor is the world's fourth-biggest hotel group, with businesses in 90 countries under brands including Sofitel, Formule 1, Mercure and Ibis.

The upbeat results from the France-based company follow bright outlooks from its rival hoteliers - as a slow recovery appeared to begin tempting consumers to travel again.

Earlier this month, InterContinental said that room occupancy levels had risen in the first six months of the year.

Marriott and US chain Starwood also posted strong results.

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