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AccorHotels' increase in 2017 profits beats expectations

PARIS, Feb 21 (Reuters) - AccorHotels, Europe's largest hotel company, posted a forecast-beating 10.1 percent rise in like-for-like operating profits for 2017, helped by cost controls and robust demand in all key regions except Brazil.

The French company said discussions about opening up the capital of its property unit AccorInvest to a group of French and international investors were in their final stages.

AccorHotels, which runs high-end chains such as Raffles and Sofitel as well as budget brands such as Ibis, said earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached 492 million euros ($606 million) in 2017.

This was above a revised company's guidance for a 2017 EBIT at the upper end of a 460-480 million euros range, while analysts polled by Inquiry Financial for Reuters had forecast 481 million euros.

($1 = 0.8118 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)