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AccorHotels H1 operating profits beat forecasts

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - AccorHotels reported on Thursday a forecast-beating rise in first-half operating profit, as Europe's largest hotel group reaps the fruits of its restructuring and benefits from a recovery in hotel demand in Europe and France.

First-half operating profit rose 33.9 percent on a like-for-like basis to 226 million euros ($265.30 million), above the 192 million euros average forecast in a poll of analysts by Inquiry Financial for Reuters.

The company, which runs high-end chains such as Raffles and Sofitel as well as budget brands such as Ibis, also forecast 2017 operating profit between 460-480 million euros.

AccorHotels is currently holding talks with investors to sell a majority stake in its AccorInvest property business, which is no longer included in its accounts.

($1 = 0.8519 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)