Starwood Expects to Grow EPS at Compound Annual
Rate of 20-23% Through 2009
Board Authorizes Additional $600 Million In Share
NEW YORK - May 23, 2006 -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide,
Inc. (NYSE: HOT - News) announced that Chief Executive Officer Steven J.
Heyer and other members of the Company's senior management team are presenting
Starwood's business strategy and brand positionings during its first-ever
Media Summit held today and Investor Day held tomorrow in New York City.
The Company will also provide its financial outlook during tomorrow's Investor
Mr. Heyer said, "For the last 18 months, we have been working to unlock
the substantial potential that exists in our brands, infrastructure and
team. We are implementing a clear and exciting strategy, which is already
generating significant benefits."
He added: "We are committed to connecting emotionally with our guests
through our brands with brand-specific innovation, the creation of memorable
experiences, resulting in the cultivation of great preference and brand
loyalty for Starwood brands. Our strategy will generate industry leading
RevPar, footprint growth and Return On Invested Capital for ourselves and
During the two days of meetings, Starwood will outline the key components
of its business strategy including:
Creating Differentiated "World Class" Brands Powered by Innovation.
Moving away from price-based competition and bed wars and focusing instead
on emotionally relevant branding, the Company has clearly defined each
of its brands with meaningful and powerful positionings, laying a path
for ongoing innovation.
Driving Operational Excellence and Inspirational Service. As Starwood
innovates in each brand's voice, the company is embarking on an extensive
training program to immerse every associate worldwide in its brand positionings
while zealously monitoring guest satisfaction and operational efficiency
to ensure that the Company continues to lead the industry in margin growth,
proving that productivity and guest satisfaction do not have to be mutually
Developing Robust Hotel Pipeline and Fee Growth. Acutely focused
on its pipeline development, and working in partnership with the development
community, Starwood expects to sign 150 new hotel contracts in 2006 and
anticipates five to seven percent net annual unit growth through 2009.
Leveraging Opportunities in Vacation Ownership. The Company continues
to expand its leadership in the vacation ownership business by leveraging
its owned hotel assets in key destinations such a Maui, Kauai, Scottsdale,
Orlando, New York, Aspen and Cancun.
Capitalizing on Owned Real Estate Growth Opportunities. The Company
is implementing an "asset right" strategy, as demonstrated by the sale
of more than $5 billion in non-strategic properties over the last 18 months.
At the same time, the Company has retained ownership of its most attractive
assets that can be redeveloped or repositioned or possess vacation ownership
opportunities. Starwood will continue to churn its real estate portfolio
and as it mines the value in its retained assets those will be sold and
other strategic assets will be purchased.
Starwood unveiled its brand positionings today and introduced a number
of new signature service elements created in each brand's voice. Highlights
from today's brand presentations include:
Sheraton - At Sheraton you don't just stay here, you
belong says the brand's new global ad campaign. The brand's new positioning
is centered on warm, comforting, connections and it all starts at the 'heart
of the house' with a workplace that's second to none, an investment in
training and an environment that allows Sheraton associates to confidently
connect with their guests. And because everything communicates, Sheraton's
positioning is being brought to life at every stage of the guest experience,
from new television advertising, new collateral and a new signature "warm
welcome." Starwood's largest brand debuted its Yahoo! Link @ Sheraton,
a lobby hub where guests can hop on the Internet, explore the Yahoo!-designed,
locally-tailored website, grab a coffee, work, chat, read, watch TV or
play a game.
Four Points by Sheraton: For the self sufficient traveler, Four
Points by Sheraton aims to provide honest, uncomplicated, comfort. The
brand is all about providing a high level of comfort and little indulgences
while away from home from a great bed to a perfect cup of coffee to free
high speed Internet access and free bottled water - Four Points by Sheraton
provides good, honest value. Celebrating "simple pleasures," the brand
is rolling out a "Best Brews" international beer program; serving award
winning pie in its hotels; providing simple tips to make life less complicated
and launching a series of great looking new interior design packages. Growing
fast around the world, the brand is set to open more than 30 hotels in
the next year alone.
Le Meridien: Starwood's newest brand's core values of chic, cultured,
discovery are born of its European heritage. The brand seeks to engage
its guests in a meaningful way - bringing alive its passion points of music,
film, art, photography, food, design, architecture and fashion. It will
curate an experience for its guests, stimulating them and enriching their
stay - revealing the curious in all of us. Growth plans are aggressive
with a strong pipeline in place and a special emphasis on North America
where the brand is currently under penetrated.
Luxury Collection: The third largest luxury hotel brand in the
world, The Luxury Collection will evolve from a primarily trade-facing
brand to a consumer brand. The brand's focus on exceptional, indigenous,
unique, experience will inform its transformation and dictate its growth,
with a focus on including the world's most celebrated independent hotels
in a collection famed for its magical hotels like the Gritti Palace, the
Hotel Imperial and the Cala di Volpe.
St. Regis: The certainty of being in the best place is central
to St. Regis's positioning around uncompromising, bespoke, seductive, address.
As the Company opens some of the world's most spectacular new hotels and
continues to develop residences with 12 under development, signature services
will include a wine aficionado program, restaurants with celebrity chefs,
an expansion of its famed butler service and new Remede spas.
W: From San Diego to Seoul...and soon Hoboken to Hong Kong, W's
flirty, insider, escape offers guests unique experiences around the warmth
of cool. Exclusive partnerships with Diane von Furstenberg, Alvin Valley
and Sirius Satellite Radio, access to events like Fashion Week, Jazzfest
and Tribecca Film Festival, and the keys to a world where wishes are fulfilled
through its signature Whatever/Whenever program.
Aloft: Launched less than a year ago, aloft - a vision of W hotels
- offers a sassy, refreshing, oasis in the boring desert of select-service
hotels. With its Anything/Anytime service promise; RE:FUEL, its Grab n
Go food and beverage concept; and RELAX, airy public spaces designed for
social gatherings similar to W's Living Rooms, aloft is proving to be a
darling of the development community with more than 500 properties planned
Westin: Westin's core values around personal, instinctive, renewal
drove the brand's recent decision to go smoke-free - a hotel industry first.
Building upon its Heavenly Bed, WestinWORKOUT Powered by Reebok and Heavenly
Spa, Westin will introduce a new "sensory welcome" featuring a white tea
scent, signature music and lighting, plus refreshing towels and an elixir
all designed to renew. Unwind, an evening ritual, is in pilot around the
globe, and the brand announced its working with the Mayo Clinic to understand
the effects of travel on mind, body and spirit. Having pioneered the hotel-retail
trend, Westin will continue to expand its retail efforts online, in hotel
and at Nordstrom stores, focusing on new "sensory" retail. Coming soon:
"Project ESW" - a new extended stay brand with the DNA of Westin.
At tomorrow's investor meeting, Starwood will announce that assuming
annual RevPar growth of 7 - 9% and 5 - 7% net annual unit growth through
2009, it expects 13 - 15% annual EBITDA growth and 20 - 23% annual EPS
Starwood also announced that its Board of Directors has approved an
increase in the Company's share repurchase program by an additional $600
million bringing the current authorization to more than $1 billion. Since
the start of the year, Starwood has bought back approximately 9 million
shares at a cost of $570 million.
Starwood is taking 15 to 18 non-strategic hotels to market and expects
to generate sales proceeds of $500 million to $1 billion over the next
At tomorrow's meeting, the Company will also reaffirm its current full
year guidance for 2006, which was detailed in its first quarter 2006 earnings
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of
the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately
850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned
and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner,
operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally
renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®,
Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Meridien® and
the recently announced Aloft(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation
Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality
vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit
This press release contains forward-looking statements
within the meaning of federal securities regulations, including any statements
as to whether or when the transaction with Host is expected to be consummated.