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Hilton's profit beats; raises earnings forecast again

[BENGALURU] Hilton Worldwide Holdings, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria hotel chain, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, as more people booked rooms at higher prices, and raised its 2017 earnings forecast yet again.

Hilton, which also owns the Conrad and the Double Tree hotel chains, said it now expects 2017 adjusted earnings in a range of US$1.78 and US$1.85 per share, up from US$1.73 to US$1.81 per share forecast previously.

The company also raised it full-year forecast for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation to a range of US$1.88 billion to US$1.92 billion, from US$1.86 billion to US$1.90 billion.

Hilton, like its hotel industry peers, is benefiting from an uptick in corporate demand, as companies spend more based on improved business sentiment following Donald Trump's election as president in November.

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System-wide occupancy rose 0.4 per cent in the second quarter ended June 30, while average daily room rate rose 1.2 per cent.

RevPAR, a key measure of hotel health calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily room rate by its occupancy rate, increased 1.8 per cent.

Net income attributable to Hilton stockholders was US$166 million, or 51 US cents per share, in the second quarter.

The company's net income in the year-ago quarter was US$239 million, or 72 US cents per share, reflecting US$144 million from discontinued operations.

Excluding items, Hilton earned 52 US cents in the quarter.

Revenue rose to US$2.35 billion from US$1.95 billion.

Analysts on average had expected quarterly earnings of 50 US cents per share and revenue of US$2.33 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.