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Hilton revenue jumps as occupancy, room rates rise

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[February 27, 2014]  (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, the world's largest hotel operator, reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly revenue as increasing business and leisure travel pushed up occupancy and room rates.

Net income attributable to stockholders fell to $26 million, or 3 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31 from $61 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.

Expenses soared 23 percent to $2.55 billion.

The hotel and travel industry in the United States, from where Hilton gets most of its revenue, has benefited from returning confidence in the economy.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said in December it expected room rates and occupancy to rise further in 2014.

Hilton reported a 4.7 percent rise in total revenue per available room (RevPAR) at hotels open at least one year.

RevPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily room rate by its occupancy rate.

Hilton's revenue rose to $2.64 billion from $2.34 billion.

Hilton, founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, went public in December and raised more than $2.3 billion in 2013's second-biggest IPO.

The company, whose brands include such high-end names as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, operates in 90 countries and has more than 4,000 hotels and 670,000 rooms under its umbrella.

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Hilton's shares closed at $22.54 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They have gained 2 percent since their debut on December 13.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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