Hilton profits exceed forecast in Q1

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Hilton's EBITDA increased 18% to US$599 million in Q1 2015
Hilton’s EBITDA increased 18% to US$599 million in Q1 2015

Hilton Worldwide has posted a strong set of financial results for the first quarter of the year, exceeding the high end of its profit forecast.

The hotel group’s net profit for the January-March 2015 period reached US$150 million, 22% higher than the same period in 2014. Hotel revPAR (revenue per available room) increased 6.6%, while management and franchise fees jumped 18% to US$391m.

Earnings before tax, interest and other items (EBITDA) increased 18% to US$599m.

“We started the year with another strong quarter, with top line growth at the high end of our guidance, despite significant weather impact in the US, and strong fee growth and owned asset performance, that all resulted in adjusted EBITDA exceeding our guidance,” said Hilton’s Christopher J. Nassetta, president & CEO.

“Our portfolio of industry-leading brands continues to fuel our growth, resulting in the industry’s largest pipeline and most rooms under construction globally.”

In terms of development, Hilton opened 53 hotels in Q1 2015, adding more than 8,000 rooms to its global inventory. More than 40% of these were conversions from non-Hilton brands. And by the end of the quarter on 31 March 2015, the company had reached a pipeline of 1,432 hotels comprising 240,000 rooms, spread across 81 countries. More than half of these properties are located outside the US.

Hilton has issued a strong outlook for the full year, with revPAR expected to increase 5-7%, EBITDA forecast to exceed US$2.81 billion, and management and franchise fees expected to be between US$335m and US$350m.

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