One time items push up profits at Starwood

One time items push up profits at Starwood

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has recorded a sharp increase in profits for the fourth quarter of 2010, boosted by one-time items.

In a fourth quarter ending December 31st, Starwood earned $339 million, or $1.78 per diluted share, up from a loss of $107 million, or 59 cents per diluted share the previous year.

“The lodging recovery has held steady in the face of an uncertain and volatile world,” said chief executive Frits van Paasschen on a conference call.

Starwood came in ahead of expectations

Starwood has 16 hotels across North Africa, with Paasschen quick to add: “The political turmoil in North Africa, especially Egypt, is of course hurting our business.”

Starwood profits were credited to strong global branding and a marked post-recession increase in corporate travel, which accounts for 70 per cent of Starwood business.

Even without one time items – which included a tax benefit and favourable lawsuit settlements - earnings came in above estimates with the company raising its 2011 guidance by ten cents per share.

Without special items Starwood earned $99 million from continuing operations, or 52 cents per share, compared with $95 million, or 51 cents per share.

Starwood’s revenue per available room, a key profit metric for hotels, was up more than ten per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010 over the same time period in 2009, the company reported.

It was up 9.4 per cent for the year, following a decline of 20.7 per cent in 2009.