Accor SA, Europe’s largest hotel operator, said 2014 profit climbed 16 percent after the French company cut costs and benefited from demand outside its home country.

Earnings before interest and taxes climbed to 602 million euros ($686 million) from 521 million euros a year earlier, the Paris-based owner of the Sofitel and Ibis brands said in a statement on Wednesday. That beat the average estimate of 596 million euros from 20 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

“The in-depth transformation being carried out by Accor started to pay off in 2014,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sebastien Bazin said in the statement.

Accor at the end of 2013 scrapped a plan to sell properties and expand through operating more hotels, focusing instead on owning the hotels it runs. The company reduced its costs by 63 million euros last year, Chief Financial Officer Sophie Stabile said at a briefing in Paris, after a reduction of 37 million euros a years earlier.

Accor gained as much as 3.3 percent to 46.64 euros, the highest since July 2007, in Paris trading. The shares were up 2.3 percent at 9:40 a.m.

The company said net income rose 77 percent to 223 million euros, while revenue increased 0.5 percent to 5.45 billion euros. The biggest revenue increase was in the Mediterranean region, Africa and the Americas.

Accor plans to pay a dividend of about 95 cents a share for 2014, up from 80 cents a year earlier.

This article was written by Dalia Fahmy from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: Mercure Hotels staff greeting a guest who checked in online before arrival. Accor Hotels