Hilton raises profit forecast on higher occupancy, rates


Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, which owns the Conrad and Waldorf Astoria brands, raised its full-year earnings forecast and reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, driven by an increase in business and leisure travel.

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The increase in travel due to a recovering economy in the United States has resulted in tight supply of hotel rooms and higher occupancy, allowing hoteliers to raise rates.

Hilton's rivals Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc and Marriott International Inc have also reported higher profits for the April to June quarter.

Hilton, the largest U.S. hotel operator by market value, now expects full-year adjusted profit of 67-70 cents per share.

That is higher than the company's previous forecast of 64-67 cents per share and the average analyst estimate of 66 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a factor of a hotel's occupancy and average daily room rates, rose 6.7 percent in the quarter at Hilton's hotels open at least one year.

Hilton, which gets three-quarters of its revenue from the United States, said U.S. comparable RevPAR increased 7.3 percent in the second quarter ended June 30.

Total revenue rose 12.1 percent to $2.67 billion, and was above the average analyst estimate of $2.57 billion.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose 35 percent to $209 million, or 21 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 19 cents per share.

Hilton's shares have gained about 14 percent since their debut in December and closed at $24.21 on Thursday.