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Hilton International owns, leases, manages or franchises more than 400 hotels across the world under the four- to five-star Hilton name and the mid-market Scandic brand (in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and northern Europe).
It started life as the international arm of Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) of the USA. It was sold in 1964 and subsequently acquired by UK gaming giant Ladbrokes in 1987 (which later became the Hilton Group).
The two Hiltons were reunited in February 2006 to create a $1.7b business with more than 2,800 hotels and 475,000 bedrooms in 80 countries.
During the intervening 40 or so years, Hilton International owned the rights to the Hilton name throughout the world except the USA, where the name was operated by HHC along with six additional brands - Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inns & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton.
However, the two Hiltons have been moving closer together since 1997 with the launch of a global marketing alliance, a common identity and a joint venture agreement to share the development of the luxury Conrad brand.
The Hilton International line-up also encompasses Hilton Worldwide Resorts, time-share company Hilton International Grand Vacations and the LivingWell chain of health and fitness clubs that operate inside hotels and as standalone clubs.
Deputy group chief executive and group finance director: Brian Wallace
Senior vice-president, marketing Hilton International: Mike Ashton
Senior vice-president real estate: Adrian Bradley
Senior vice-president, distribution & ecommerce, Hilton International: Tim Davis
President Hilton International, UK and Ireland, Europe & Africa: Wolfgang Neumann
President Hilton International, the Americas: Howard Friedman
President Hilton International, Middle East & Asia Pacific: Koos Klein
President Commercial Operations Group: Jürgen Fischer
Managing director, LivingWell: Patrick Fitzgibbon
Hilton, in common with many of its peers, is moving away from hotel ownership through a series of sale-and-leaseback and sale-and-management deals. It has also started up a fledgling franchising business in recent years.
The group has 43 new hotels countries lined up for the 2005 to 2007 period. UK newcomers include new Hiltons at Dublin Airport in 2005 and, in 2006, at London Canary Wharf, London Tower Bridge and Manchester Deansgate.
Hilton also plans to boost its worldwide resort network from 59 to 73 sites by the end of 2006, and to expand the number of luxury Conrad hotel by 50 properties by 2010.
"This transaction represents the final and logical step in a process that began in 1997 with the signing of our strategic alliance, and is a unique opportunity to once again position HHC as a global lodging industry leader for the first time in more than 40 years.
With the current strength of our business in the US, our strong balance sheet, the beginning of a hotel industry recovery in the UK - which accounts for about a third of HIlton International's income - and the success we've had in working together with HI for eight years on such programs as Hilton HHonours, Hilton Reservations, Conrad development and technology initiatives, the time is right to put tthese two great organisations together."
Source: HHC statement on agreement to buy Hilton International, December 2005
Breakdown of results for year to 31 December 2005
Turnover: £630.9m (2004: £655.1m)
Operating profit: £81.3m (2004: £88.1m)
Revpar-London: £78.66 (2004: £77.11)
Revpar-provinces: £52.82 (2004: £52.51)
Europe & Africa
Turnover: £1.2b (2004: £1.1b)
Operating profit: £82.7m (2004: £58.2m)
Middle East & Asia Pacific
Turnover: £726.9m (2004: £652.8m)
Operating profit: £27m (2004: £18.5m)
Turnover: £263.6m (2004: £236m)
Operating profit: £24m (2004: £18.9m)
Turnover: £52.7m (2004: £50m)
Operating profit: £4.2m (2004: £6.3m)
Number of hotels worldwide: around 400 in 78 countries
Conrad: 17 in 13 countries
Hilton Worldwide Resorts: 59 in 34 countries (37 operated by Hilton International, 19 by HCC, three by Conrad)
Coral by Hilton: four, all in the Dominican Republic
Hilton International Grand Vacations Club: 176 timeshares at four resorts in Scotland and Egypt
LivingWell health and leisure clubs: 86 in the UK and Ireland; nine/14 overseas in Australia, Germany, Turkey, Malta and Brazil.
Number of hotels in UK & Ireland: 78
Number of employees: more than 55,000 worldwide (UK: 15,000)
Turnover: £2.9b (2004: £2.7b)
Pre-tax profit: £187.5m (2004: £159m)
Turnover: £887.6m (2004: £845.9m)
Pre-tax profit: £72.6m (2004: £65.6m )
Financial year end: 31 December 2005
Half-year end: 30 June 2005
Address:Maple Court, Central Court