(Adds details from statement)
April 24 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc
, owner of the Sheraton and Westin brands, reported a
quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates, helped by growth
in business travel in North America.
The increase in business travel due to a recovering economy
has resulted in tight supply of hotel rooms and higher
occupancy, allowing hoteliers to raise rates.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 6.4 percent in
actual dollar terms at Starwood's owned, managed and franchised
hotels open at least one year in North America.
RevPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily
room rate by its occupancy rate.
Starwood has about half of its properties outside North
America, making it vulnerable to a strong dollar and weak demand
RevPAR in Asia, excluding China, fell 5 percent in actual
dollar terms in the March quarter due to the strong dollar.
Wyndham Worldwide Corp, which also reported results
on Thursday, said international revPAR declined 4.3 percent at
its lodging business due to a strong dollar.
Hyatt Hotels Corp and Marriott International Inc
are scheduled to report quarterly results next week.
Starwood's net income from continuing operations fell 5
percent to $136 million, or 71 cents per share, in the first
quarter, from $143 million, or 73 cents per share, a year
The company reported earnings of 63 cents per share
excluding items, above the 56 cents per share analysts on
average had expected.
Revenue fell 5.3 percent to $1.46 billion, but was
marginally above analysts' average estimate of $1.45 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood's shares closed at
$76.91 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj