Hyatt Hotels returns to profit in fourth quarter

Hyatt Hotels has swung back into profit for the fourth quarter of 2010, with the group reporting a strong increase in RevPAR.

Net income stood at $6 million, or 3 cents per share, in the three months to December 31st compared with a loss of $12 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.

This included a $20 million gain in the quarter from selling some of its properties.

However, the results fell short of expectations, with shares down $1.63, or 3.3 per cent, to $47.89 early on Thursday.

“In the fourth quarter, we saw solid growth in demand and RevPAR, especially in our international and select-service properties,” said Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer of Hyatt Hotels.

“Continued focus on flow through led to significant operating margin improvement at our owned hotels.”

Comparable owned and leased hotels RevPAR increased 4.1 per cent (4.4 per cent excluding the effect of currency) compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $918 million from $889 million.

Owned and leased hotel operating margins increased 170 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

The Company opened six properties during the fourth quarter of 2010.

“In 2010 we achieved improvements in key drivers of brand value - namely associate engagement, customer satisfaction, and our Gold Passport program, which demonstrates our loyalty to our best customers,” continued Mr Hoplamazian.

“Looking ahead, we continue to focus on our key strategies and goals, reinvest in our hotels, and pursue many opportunities for expansion with existing and new owners.