by Michael J. Shapiro | February 07, 2013

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide reported year-over-year gains in revenue per available room, both for the fourth quarter and full-year 2012. Worldwide, systemwide RevPAR was up 4.1 percent for the quarter, while in North America the increase was 5.2 percent. For the full year, the gains were higher: Worldwide, systemwide RevPAR grew 5.0 percent, while North American properties posted a 6.0 percent gain. "We are happy to report strong results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012," noted CEO Frits van Paaschen in the earnings report. "We held our costs in check for the fourth year in a row, grew our footprint with quality hotels and contracts, sustained high RevPAR and occupancies in an uncertain environment, and we realized great value from real estate sales." The company's net income for 2012 was $562 million, compared with $489 million in 2011. Starwood projects RevPAR to increase another 5 to 7 percent in 2013. "This year looks to be somewhat stronger than 2012," said van Paaschen, "as the uncertainty we saw in major world economies is showing signs of giving way to stronger demand growth. Beyond next year into the foreseeable future, we are bullish about the long-term outlook on the global high-end lodging industry." The company expects to see higher rates in North America and Europe, added Van Paaschen, and continued demand growth in the expanding markets of Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa.