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Starwood reports fourth quarter 2009 results

Starwood’s portfolio is set to begin a rebound in 2010 from a deep drop-off

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. reported fourth quarter 2009 financial results.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Highlights:
– Excluding special items, EPS from continuing operations was $0.51. Including special items, EPS from continuing operations was a loss of $1.03.
– Adjusted EBITDA was $247 million.
– Excluding special items, income from continuing operations was $95 million. Including special items, the loss from continuing operations was $186 million.
– Special items totaled a pre-tax charge of $431 million ($281 million net of tax or $1.54 per share), including a pre-tax non-cash impairment charge of $362 million related to inventory, fixed assets and goodwill at Starwood Vacation Ownership.
– Worldwide System-wide REVPAR for Same-Store Hotels decreased 7.2% (9.6% in constant dollars) compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. System-wide REVPAR for Same-Store Hotels in North America decreased 10.1% (10.7% in constant dollars).
– Management and franchise revenues increased 0.6% compared to 2008.
– Worldwide REVPAR for Starwood branded Same-Store Owned Hotels decreased 7.9% (10.9% in constant dollars) compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. REVPAR for Starwood branded Same-Store Owned Hotels in North America decreased 9.6% (10.7% in constant dollars).
– Operating income from vacation ownership and residential declined $5 million compared to 2008.
– In the quarter, the Company signed 20 hotel management and franchise contracts representing approximately 4,200 rooms and opened 24 hotels with approximately 5,000 rooms.
– The Company completed a series of dispositions and financing transactions during the fourth quarter that resulted in cash proceeds of approximately $650 million. These cash proceeds were primarily used to prepay debt maturing in 2010 to 2013, reducing net debt at December 31, 2009 to $2.819 billion.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. reported a loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2009 of $1.03 per share compared to $0.25 in the fourth quarter of 2008. Excluding special items, which net to a charge of $281 million in 2009 and $133 million in 2008, EPS from continuing operations was $0.51 for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to $0.49 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Excluding special items, the effective income tax rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 4.1% compared to 27.5% in the same period of 2008 primarily due to a lower overall effective tax rate on foreign earnings. Special items in the fourth quarter of 2009 totaled a pretax charge of $431 million ($281
million after tax or $1.54 per share) and were related to the following primarily non-cash charges:
– $362 million of impairment charges related to the Company’s decision to no longer
pursue development of certain vacation ownership projects, charges related to price
reductions at certain vacation ownership projects and impairment of goodwill
associated with the vacation ownership business.
– $42 million of impairment charges primarily related to five owned hotels.
– $17 million charge associated with tender premiums and other costs related to the prepayment of approximately $600 million of the Company’s long-term debt.
– $10 million of severance and other costs associated with the company’s ongoing initiative of rationalizing its cost structure.

The loss from continuing operations was $186 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to $45 million in 2008. Excluding special items, income from continuing operations was $95 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to $88 million in 2008. The net loss was $107 million and $0.59 per share in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to net income of $79 million and EPS of $0.44 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Frits van Paasschen, CEO said, “We ended 2009 with the best REVPAR results we have seen since the third quarter of 2008, and our continued focus on costs allowed us to beat expectations again in the quarter. Lodging demand continued to improve in the fourth quarter, with group and business transient posting positive bookings. After being buffeted by headwinds throughout 2009, our portfolio is set to begin a rebound in 2010 from a deep drop-off.”

“We believe that our competitive position in the global marketplace as an operator of lifestyle hospitality brands continues to build. Importantly, the forces of globalization, capital flows, emerging middle class and demand for hotel infrastructure are alive and well, and we intend to capture more than our fair share of this growth.”

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TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific editorial team has an experience of over 35 years in B2B travel journalism as well as in tourism & hospitality marketing and communications.

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