Hilton profits more than triple in first quarter

McLean-based Hilton said profits grew to $123 million during the first quarter of 2014. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

Profits at Hilton Worldwide grew more than three-fold during the first quarter of the year, lifted by an increase in group travel and rising nightly rates, the company reported Friday.

Hilton posted first-quarter earnings of $123 million, or 12 cents, up from $34 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue per available room — a key industry metric — grew 6.6 percent from the same period last year.

“It feels like the business is really hitting on all cylinders,” Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive, said in a conference call with investors.

The McLean-based hotel company also said it has plans to introduce two new brands this year: A four-plus-star brand focused on urban and resort hotels (slated to debut this summer), and a “lifestyle” brand (coming this fall). The company currently has 10 hotel brands, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Embassy Suite Hotels.

“We are working on a meaningful number of deals in both new brands,” Nassetta said in the call.

The company, which went public in December, continues to grow at a rapid clip. During the first quarter, Hilton opened 51 hotels with more than 9,000 rooms.

Abha Bhattarai covers local banking, retail and hospitality for The Washington Post’s Capital Business section. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
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