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Second quater profits at Starwood

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has reported a second-quarter profit and lifted its outlook for financial 2010 as it benefits from an upswing in demand for business travel.

The group – which operates the Sheraton, W and St. Regis brands – posted a net income of $114 million for the quarter, equivalent to 61 cents per share.

This is compared with $134 million, or 74 cents per share, for the previous year.

Earnings per share was 35 cents per share said Starwood, surpassing the average analyst estimate of 26 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Starwood chief executive Frits van Paasschen said the company was “cautiously confident” with regard to its near-term outlook and “bullish” over long-term growth prospects.

He added: “While global lodging demand is solid, the economic outlook around the world remains unpredictable.

“We will continue to plan for a range of potential scenarios, but each entails a focus on driving top-line growth with strong discipline in our cost base.”

Starwood confirmed second quarter revenue rose ten per cent to $1.29 billion, while revenue per available room jumped 13.1 per cent.

Leading the way was the W chain, which saw RevPAR increase by 33 per cent over the quarter when compared to last year.

The company projects RevPAR will rise between seven per cent and nine per cent for its company-operated hotels worldwide, up from the previous range of five per cent to eight per cent.

Starwood shares gained $1.65, or 3.8 per cent, to $45.45 earlier today in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The stock has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Starwood New York listing