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Hilton reports strong revpar growth

20 May 2005

Hilton Group's hotel division saw a strong growth in revenue per available room (revpar) over the four months to 30 April, but admitted that the UK business suffered tougher trading conditions.

The group's gaming division also experienced challenging trading conditions, which cut group profits by 4% from record levels reported a year ago.

Hilton predicts that hotel revpar will continue to grow for the rest of the financial year and that gaming margins will improve during the second half.

Increasing occupancy levels have driven double-digit revpar growth in all regions, except the UK, to give an overall revpar rise of 9.6%.

Revpar at London hotels grew by 4.3% but fell by 0.3% in provinces thanks to a 2.5% drop in January.

Elsewhere, growth was led by the Middle East, where revpar grew by 19.2% and the Americas (up 14.7%), followed by Asia Pacific (up 11.4%). Hotels in Europe and Africa saw revpar grow by 10.3%.

Hilton-branded hotels boosted revpar by 9.4% while Scandic hotels achieved growth of 8.9%.

Hotels run under management contracts proved the most profitable and increased revpar by 14.4%. Those held under owned or contingent leases saw smaller rises of between 6% and 8%.

The group, which is in the process of selling between £300m and £400m worth of hotel assets, has cut its net debt from £1.03b to £748m.

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