by Michael J. Shapiro | February 09, 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts reported strong fourth-quarter results last week, including a global year-over-year increase of 10.1 percent in revenue per available room. Leading the way was the Asia Pacific region, where RevPAR was up by 20.3 percent; Latin America followed, with a 17.2 percent increase, while North American RevPAR was up 10.2 percent over 2009. The company's net income was $339 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $107 million in 2009. Excluding special items -- a favorable settlement of a lawsuit with the IRS in 2010, and an after-tax charge related to vacation ownership projects in 2009 -- the company's income still improved, from $95 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $99 million at the end of 2010. "We ended 2010 with a strong fourth quarter," noted CEO Frits van Passchen, "and momentum has continued into 2011. By containing costs, we are translating these higher revenues into higher profits."