By Nadja Brandt – Nov 3, 2010 4:19 PM CT

Hyatt Profit Rises as Demand for High-End Hotels Increases

 Hyatt Hotels Corp., the Pritzker family chain that raised $1.09 billion in an initial public offering last year, said third-quarter earnings rose as demand from business travelers recovered.

Net income increased to $30 million, or 17 cents a share, from $5 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier, the Chicago-based company said in a statement today. Revenue climbed to $879 million from $806 million.

“Higher levels of corporate and group business resulted in improved performance at convention and business hotels in particular,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian said in the statement. “International hotels continued to perform well as occupancies and rates increased in several regions.”

The U.S. lodging industry is recovering after last year’s recession, led by upscale hotels such as Hyatt’s brands. Occupancy at U.S. chain hotels with the costliest rooms rose to 67 percent this year through August from 62 percent a year earlier, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. That compares with occupancies of 65 percent across all hotel categories in the top 25 U.S. markets in the first eight months of 2010.

“Domestically, Hyatt is benefiting from a recovery in the high-end sector,” Patrick Scholes, a New York-based analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said in an interview before the report. “Internationally, Hyatt is particularly benefiting from their exposure to Asia and especially China.”

Revpar Rises

Hyatt’s revenue per available room, or revpar, for hotels owned or leased for at least a year increased 6.9 percent. Revpar climbed 7.5 percent at full-service hotels in North America and 17 percent internationally.

The company, which plans to boost its New York City presence from one hotel now to six next year, is likely to sell three to five properties over the next few months to raise money for other projects, Hoplamazian said today during a call with analysts and investors.

Hyatt rose 54 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $41.50 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, bringing the stock’s gain for this year to 39 percent.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., owner of luxury brands including the St. Regis and W chains, last week reported a third-quarter loss after a $55 million charge related mainly to the sale of a hotel. Income from continuing operations, excluding one-time items, climbed to $47 million, or 25 cents a share, from $25 million, or 14 cents. That beat projections of 22 cents, the average estimate of 23 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Marriott International Inc., the largest U.S. hotel chain, on Oct. 7 posted a third-quarter profit as a pickup in business and leisure travel allowed the hotelier to increase room rates.

Back to top