Starwood Withdraws Guidance

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Mar 24, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced today that it has withdrawn its first quarter and full year 2003 guidance.
Starwood offered first quarter and annual guidance in January and could not have anticipated the significant deterioration in business due to the elongated Iraq negotiations and the related geopolitical conditions that worsened over the quarter and culminated recently in armed conflict.

The Company said that, given current uncertainties, it will suspend giving guidance until such time that it can more accurately predict the business impact of the war and the impact and timing of an economic recovery.

The first quarter has historically been, by a large measure, the least important quarter for Starwood with the lowest revenues and net income of any quarter on an annual basis. Further, slight changes in costs in the first quarter have an exacerbated impact on EBITDA margins. For example, higher energy costs recently experienced due to the unusually cold winter, particularly in the northeastern United States, where the company has a large concentration of owned hotels, negatively impacted operating margins in the short term.
Starwood is well positioned for an economic recovery with a strong balance sheet and a significant presence in major global markets.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit