3.4.2. RISK FACTORS
The Group is exposed to various operational risks although the scale
of any financial consequences arising from such risks is reduced by
the fact that its business activities are dispersed around the globe.
Risks related to malicious damage and terrorist threats:
to effectively protect itself against the main threats identified
against its establishments, the Group draws on a strategy that
is adapted to the severity of the estimated risks related to each
structure concerned. It has also put in place a monitoring system
as well as specific security measures that evolve in line with the
developments of each situation.
Public health risks:
Accor tracks on an ongoing basis any public
health risks that could adversely affect its business. In response
to the risk of pandemics, annually-updated business continuity
plans are in place to ensure the continuity of its hotel operations
and the health and safety of guests and employees. A program
has long been in place to prevent the development and spread of
legionella bacteria in the Group’s hotels.Technical standards have
been defined and preventive maintenance is regularly carried out,
with analyses of samples performed by independent laboratories.
Risks related to the economic environment:
in the event of a
sharp slowdown in a regional economy or the global economy,
Accor could experience a significant falloff in business due to
people travelling less frequently. In this event, austerity plans are
in place to freeze budgets, identify cost-reduction opportunities
and deploy other responsive measures.
Natural disaster risks:
some of the Group’s hotels are located in
countries that are exposed to the risk of natural disasters, such
as hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves or floods. When these
risks are foreseeable, temporary protection measures are put in
place. Exercises are also carried out by our teams in countries
subject to seismic risks so they can respond effectively in the
event of an earthquake. One of the natural disaster risks identified
by the Group is that of the river Seine breaking its banks, which
could have major implications for Accor due to the large number
of its hotels that could be affected in the Paris region. Specific
Business Continuity and Recovery Plans have been drawn up to
deal with this eventuality.
maintaining the customer appeal of our brands
is a key priority for our teams, who constantly work towards
making Accor an innovation leader and raising its standards to
avoid losing business to competitors. Careful attention is also
paid to current changes in customer behavior due to alternative
accommodation solutions offered by new market entrants
(furnished rentals, house and apartment swaps, etc.).
Lastly, the risk of losing control over the distribution of its products
to online travel agencies (OTAs) is a major focal point for the
Group. Controlling this dependency risk involves increasing the
direct bookings made through Accor websites and stepping up
the loyalty program, both of which require the development of
state-of-the-art technological systems.
Risks of damage to our brand image:
Accor could be faced with
a major media event capable of damaging its brand image. For
example, a health and/or safety incident or a supplier’s practices
could lead to a smear campaign against the Group. In response,
tracking tools have been deployed to detect early warning signs
and dedicated crisis management and communication procedures
are ready to be activated should such an event occur. In addition,
employees are given specific training on how to prevent cases
of sexual tourism involving minors in hotels.
Risks related to partnerships:
the Group’s relations with hotel
owners, lessors and franchisees are based on mutual trust and
shared interests. However, these relations could deteriorate and
expose the Group to conflictual situations. Moreover, the ability
to renew franchise and management agreements depends on
the appeal of our brands.
Risks relating to information systems:
systems could be subject to attacks, such as viruses and denial-
of-service attacks, as well as data theft and technical failures
causing a system shutdown. The Information Systems Security
Department is tasked with securing all of our networks and
systems andmanaging the applications necessary for our business
continuity. In tandem, it regularly performs intrusion tests on all
of our applications assets. Accor also has a specific Information
Systems Internal Audit team which reports to Corporate Internal
Audit and is dedicated to ensuring that information systems work
effectively and securely.
Data protection risks:
Accor faces competition from other
hotel groups in deploying its organic and external growth
strategies. Consequently, information on strategic, business
and competition-related issues concerning organic growth and
acquisitions and information relating to the Group’s customers
is considered to be highly sensitive. If such information were to
be disclosed it could have adverse consequences for the Group.
Measures are therefore in place to raise employee awareness
about confidentiality and to enhance the security and access
control of our Intranet sites.
although management regularly holds
constructive talks with employee representatives, both at head
office and local level, certain strategies and/or financial decisions
could give rise to local disputes or strikes that could adversely
affect the business.
In its risk identification process, Accor considers that potential
environmental risks in the hotels business mainly concern the
storage of gas and fuel oil in or near hotels, the malfunction of
transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), spillage
of cleaning products and contamination from cooling towers.
In general, the risk of causing environmental damage remains low in
the hotels business. In Europe, however, these risks are assessed
with environmental inspections performed during onsite visits by
insurance company experts.
Registration Document 2014