by Michael J. Shapiro | April 26, 2018
Hilton Worldwide reports systemwide revenue per available room was up 3.9 percent year-over-year for the first quarter of 2018, per the hotel chain's latest earnings release. Increases in both occupancy and average daily rate contributed to that, with a particularly strong showing by the company's European and Asian properties. First-quarter RevPAR increased by 7.1 percent in Europe and a whopping 11 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
"We are thrilled with the strong start to the year," noted Hilton president and CEO Christopher Nassetta, who added that the company exceeded expectations for RevPAR as well as earnings per share and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). "As a result of our strong performance and positive outlook for the remainder of the year, we are raising guidance for the full year."
 
Hilton is now forecasting year-over-year RevPAR growth between 2 and 4 percent for the full year, and an increase of between 3 and 4 percent for the second quarter.
 
When broken down by brand, both the luxury Conrad flag and the extended-stay Home2 Suites fared remarkably well. Conrad's occupancy grew to 72.3 percent, representing a 9.9 percent increase over the first quarter last year, and RevPAR shot up by 14.1 percent. Properties flying the Home2 Suites flag posted 74.6 percent occupancy -- a 6.1 percent rise year-over-year -- and RevPAR growth of 10.8 percent.
 
Across all brands, Hilton opened 75 hotels, or 10,600 rooms, in the first quarter -- a 7 percent increase year-over-year. Net unit growth for the company was 7,100 rooms. The company also has 2,340 hotels in the pipeline, accounting for 355,000 rooms in 106 countries and territories -- 38 of which are new markets for Hilton. About 184,000 of those rooms are under construction, and 187,000 rooms are outside of the United States.