UPDATE 1- AccorHotels sales rise despite France and Brazil as Jin Jiang ups stake
(Adds CFO comments, Jin Jiang news from call)
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, April 19 (Reuters) - AccorHotels, Europe's largest hotel group, posted higher underlying sales on Tuesday as robust demand for hotel rooms in most markets overcame a weaker performance in France and in recession-hit Brazil.
Meanwhile, Shanghai Jin Jiang International had further raised its stake in AccorHotels to 14.98 percent of its capital and 13.07 percent of its voting rights as of March 31, finance head Jean-Jacques Morin told journalists.
Morin said he would not make further comments on the move by Jin Jiang, which is already AcccorHotels' top shareholder.
Shares in AccorHotels rose sharply on April 12 after Bloomberg said Jin Jiang could build up a stake in the company to about 20 percent, citing sources.
Jin Jiang, which already owns France's Louvre Hotels Group, is among a growing number of Chinese firms investing in Europe's tourism industry.
First quarter revenue reached 1.161 billion euros, an increase of 1.9 percent excluding currency effects, acquisitions and disposals. On a published basis, revenue declined 5.2 percent year-on-year.
The quarterly revenue figure fell short of the 1.2 billion expected by analysts, based on the average of estimates polled by Thomson Reuters. Continuación...