Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT; ``Starwood`` or the ``Company``) today reported record results for the first quarter of 2001.
First Quarter Financial Highlights:
* First quarter diluted EPS from continuing operations increased 15% to $0.30 when compared to diluted EPS of $0.26 for the same period of 2000.
* Total EBITDA increased 6% to $335 million and operating income increased 4% to $193 million.
* REVPAR for Same-Store Owned Hotels in North America increased 4.3%. REVPAR for Same-Store Owned Hotels in Europe increased 10.9% excluding the unfavorable effect of foreign currency translation.
* EBITDA at Comparable Owned Hotels in North America increased 8.7% and EBITDA margins increased 180 basis points to 32.5%. EBITDA at Comparable Owned Hotels in Europe increased 24.0%.
Comments from the CEO:
``We are pleased with our first quarter results and in particular, with our ability to increase our operating margins despite the negative impact of rising energy costs and isolated areas of unrest around the world, like Israel and Fiji,`` said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO. ``Our overall performance was also significantly impacted in the quarter by the severe storms of early March which affected our important U.S. East Coast assets.``
``The rapid deterioration of the domestic economy, highlighted by falling GDP forecasts, and the softening of the global economy, has made the visibility of our business increasingly challenging, particularly in the business transient area in our urban assets. We have reacted rapidly with internal operating cost cuts and cuts in discretionary capital spending. We are doing so in the belief that the continued decline in U.S. lodging supply trends, the national rollout of our new yield management system, the implementation of Six Sigma and our continued focus on completing the renovation of our asset base will lead to rapid reacceleration in REVPAR growth when the economy stabilizes and strengthens. As such, we believe that the purchase of our stock at current multiples represents a compelling investment opportunity.``
Concluding, Mr. Sternlicht said, ``Despite unfavorable year over year comparisons for the Euro and other international currencies we expect our global diversification, buoyed by the underlying strength of our Europe operations, to be a net positive this year.``