UPDATE 2-AccorHotels predicts strong 2016 despite Paris attacks

jueves 18 de febrero de 2016 09:00 GYT

* 2015 EBIT 665 mln euros vs I/B/E/S poll 659 mln euros

* Q1 to remain difficult in France after attacks - CEO

* Optimistic on 2016 despite France, Brazil; shares rise (Recasts with CEO comments, shares, analyst)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, Feb 18 (Reuters) - AccorHotels predicted another strong year in 2016 after Europe's largest hotel group delivered a forecast-beating record operating profit last year despite Islamist attacks in Paris that hit bookings in its home market.

The French company said a restructuring drive paid off in 2015 and demand rose in most markets except France and Brazil, sending its shares up 3.5 percent.

AccorHotels, undergoing an overhaul begun by Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin in 2013, said it would continue to significantly improve its operational and financial performance this year despite a volatile global economy.

"2016 will probably be another record year," Bazin told analysts after 2015 operating profit rose 3 percent like-for-like to a record 665 million euros ($739.75 million).

Germany and Britain, Accor's second and third-largest markets, were the main drivers of revenue growth in northern Europe while revenue rose strongly in Spain and Italy, whose economies have been recovering from recession.   Continuación...