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Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced a net loss of more than $100m between September and December 2009, compared to a net profit of $79m in Q4 2008.
The revenue per available room (revPAR) for Starwood's worldwide portfolio decreased by 7.2%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, while the revPAR of hotels in north America fell by more than 10%.
Frits van Paasschen, CEO of Starwood, said that, despite the loss, the results represented the best revPAR results seen by the company since Q3 2008.
Group and business transient bookings picked up in the last quarter of 2008, but booking windows remain short.
Management and franchise revenues also increased, by 0.6%, compared to 2008.
In the fourth quarter last year, Starwood signed 20 hotel management and franchise contracts, representing some 4,200 rooms. The company also opened 24 new hotels, with approximately 5,000 rooms.
More growth is set for this year. Paasschen said: "After being buffeted by headwinds throughout 2009, our portfolio is set to begin a rebound in 2010 from a deep drop-off.
"Importantly, the forces of globalization, capital flows, emerging middle class and demand for hotel infrastructure are alive and well, and we intend to capture more than our fair share of this growth."
The hotel group did not make any predictions for 2010, saying only that "business conditions continue to improve from depressed levels, [but] it is very hard to forecast the pace of recovery, especially rate."
"Late breaking business is a larger component of what will drive our performance making forward looking predictions four quarters out in 2010 particularly challenging," said Starwood.