Starwood Profit Rises 28% on Tax Gain, Cuts '09 View
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.'s second-quarter earnings rose 28% on a tax benefit as world-wide revenue per available room slid sharply. The weak economy has squeezed the hotel industry for some time, with timeshare businesses also under pressure. The outlook for 2009 is grim, despite efforts by hoteliers to cut costs. Hoteliers and cruise lines have offered discounts and promotions in an effort to boost slumping sales, with Starwood earlier this month offering one of the bigger ones, featuring rate cuts of up to half at nearly 600 of its global locations.