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Hilton Worldwide Exceeds High End Of Guidance For First Quarter 2015 Adjusted EBITDA; Raises Full Year Outlook

May 1, 2015 Financial No Comments Email Email

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (“Hilton,” “Hilton Worldwide” or the “Company”) (NYSE: HLT) today reported its first quarter 2015 results and raised its full year 2015 outlook. Highlights include:http://connect.hsmai.org/AsiaPacific/Home

  • EPS was $0.15 for the first quarter, a 25 percent increase from the same period in 2014; EPS, adjusted for special items was $0.12
  • Net income attributable to Hilton stockholders for the first quarter was $150 million, a 22 percent increase from the same period in 2014
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter increased 18 percent from the same period in 2014 to $599 million and Adjusted EBITDA margin increased 320 basis points
  • System-wide comparable RevPAR increased 6.6 percent for the first quarter on a currency neutral basis from the same period in 2014
  • Management and franchise fees for the first quarter increased 18 percent from the same period in 2014 to $391 million
  • Gross operating profit margins for U.S. comparable owned and operated hotels increased over 120 basis points for the first quarter compared to the same period in 2014
  • Opened more than 8,000 rooms in the first quarter
  • Approved more than 23,000 new rooms for development during the first quarter, growing its development pipeline to 1,432 hotels, consisting of 240,000 rooms, as of March 31, 2015
  • Reduced long-term debt by $225 million during the first quarter; additional $100 million voluntary prepayment of senior secured term loan facility in April 2015
  • Entered into an agreement to sell Hilton Sydney for A$442 million Australian Dollars in a tax-efficient manner; upon closing, plan to use proceeds, net of transaction costs, to further reduce long-term debt
  • Entered into an agreement to acquire what is currently the Cypress Hotel in Cupertino, California for $112 million, reinvesting the last portion of the Waldorf Astoria New York sale proceeds
  • Increased outlook for full year Adjusted EBITDA to between $2,810 million and $2,870 million

Overview

For the three months ended March 31, 2015, earnings per share (“EPS”) was $0.15 compared to $0.12 for the three months ended March 31, 2014, and EPS, adjusted for special items, was $0.12 for the three months ended March 31, 2015 compared to $0.13 for three months ended March 31, 2014. Adjusted EBITDA increased 18 percent to $599 million for the three months ended March 31, 2015, compared to $508 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and net income attributable to Hilton stockholders was $150 million for the three months ended March 31, 2015 compared to $123 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014.

Christopher J. Nassetta, President & Chief Executive Officer of Hilton Worldwide, said, “We started the year with another strong quarter, with top line growth at the high end of our guidance, despite significant weather impact in the U.S., and strong fee growth and owned asset performance, that all resulted in Adjusted EBITDA exceeding our guidance. Our portfolio of industry-leading brands continues to fuel our growth, resulting in the industry’s largest pipeline and most rooms under construction globally.”

Segment Highlights

Management and Franchise

Management and franchise fees were $391 million in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of 18 percent compared to the same period in 2014. RevPAR at comparable managed and franchised hotels in the first quarter of 2015 increased 6.9 percent on a currency neutral basis (a 5.4 percent increase in actual dollars) compared to the same period in 2014. The increase in RevPAR at comparable managed and franchised hotels and new units have yielded continued fee growth during the first quarter of 2015, including incentive management fees, which increased 16 percent on a currency neutral basis compared to the same period in 2014.

Ownership

Revenues from the ownership segment were $964 million in the first quarter of 2015, and ownership segment Adjusted EBITDA was $190 million, an increase of 9 percent from the same period in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA margin(1) increased over 130 basis points. RevPAR at comparable hotels in the ownership segment increased 4.3 percent on a currency neutral basis (a 0.8 percent decrease in actual dollars) in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, with an increase in RevPAR of 4.1 percent at comparable ownership segment hotels in the United States. Outside of the United States, RevPAR at comparable ownership segment hotels increased by 4.7 percent on a currency neutral basis (a 7.4 percent decrease in actual dollars).

Hilton plans to complete the previously-announced 1031 exchange by deploying the last portion of the Waldorf Astoria New York sale proceeds to acquire what is currently the Cypress Hotel in Cupertino, California for $112 million. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter.

Hilton continues to harvest value in its owned portfolio, announcing plans to sell the Hilton Sydney at attractive pricing in a tax-efficient manner. As part of the A$442 million Australian Dollar sale, Hilton will continue to manage this property, subject to a 50-year management agreement. Hilton expects to use the proceeds of the sale, net of transaction costs, to further reduce long-term debt.

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(1)

Calculated as ownership segment Adjusted EBITDA divided by ownership segment revenues.

Timeshare

Timeshare segment revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was $321 million, an increase of 15 percent from 2014, and timeshare Adjusted EBITDA was $74 million. Commissions recognized from the sale of third-party developed timeshare intervals increased $72 million during the first quarter of 2015 from the same period in 2014, while sales revenue on owned inventory decreased $34 million.

In the first quarter of 2015, 78 percent of intervals sold were developed by third parties. Hilton Worldwide’s overall supply of timeshare intervals as of March 31, 2015 was approximately 128,000 intervals, or over five years of projected supply at the current sales pace, of which 104,000, or 81 percent, were developed by third parties.

Development

Hilton Worldwide opened 53 hotels with over 8,000 rooms during the first quarter of 2015, over 40 percent of which were conversions from non-Hilton brands, and achieved net unit growth of nearly 6,000 rooms.

As of March 31, 2015, Hilton Worldwide had the largest rooms pipeline in the lodging industry(2), with approximately 240,000 rooms at 1,432 hotels throughout 81 countries and territories, of which 56 percent, or approximately 134,000 rooms, were located outside of the United States. All of the development pipeline is in the capital light management and franchise segment, and over half, or approximately 126,000 rooms, were under construction. At nearly 20 percent, Hilton Worldwide also has the largest share of rooms under construction globally(2). Including all agreements approved but not signed, Hilton Worldwide’s pipeline totaled nearly 255,000 rooms.

Hilton Worldwide’s most recently launched brands, Canopy by Hilton, an accessible lifestyle brand, and Curio – A Collection by Hilton, representing independent, one-of-a-kind properties, have over 50 properties and 13,000 rooms open or in various stages of development.

____________

(2)

Source: Smith Travel Research, Inc. (“STR”) Global New Development Pipeline (March 2015).

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

During the first quarter of 2015, Hilton reduced its long-term debt balance by $225 million, including a $150 million voluntary prepayment on its senior secured term loan facility. Additionally, Hilton repaid in full the amounts outstanding under its existing $525 million mortgage loan on the Waldorf Astoria New York (the “Waldorf Astoria Loan”) using the proceeds from the sale of the Waldorf Astoria New York and assumed a $450 million mortgage loan from the acquisition of the resort complex consisting of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida. In April 2015, Hilton made an additional $100 million voluntary prepayment on its senior secured term loan facility. Hilton plans to use the net proceeds of the sale of the Hilton Sydney, estimated to be approximately $325 million, to further reduce long-term debt.

As of March 31, 2015, Hilton had $10.6 billion of outstanding indebtedness with a weighted average interest rate of 4.2 percent, excluding $848 million of non-recourse debt.

Total cash and cash equivalents were $816 million as of March 31, 2015, including $269 million of restricted cash and cash equivalents. No borrowings were outstanding under the $1.0 billion revolving credit facility as of March 31, 2015.

Outlook

Full Year 2015

  • System-wide RevPAR is expected to increase between 5.0 percent and 7.0 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis, with ownership segment RevPAR expected to increase between 4.0 percent and 6.0 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis as compared to 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be between $2,810 million and $2,870 million; the announced Hilton Sydney sale would reduce this range by $10 million to $14 million upon closing.
  • Management and franchise fees are projected to increase approximately 11 percent to 13 percent.
  • Timeshare segment Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be between $335 million and $350 million.
  • Corporate expense and other is projected to remain flat to prior year.
  • Diluted EPS, adjusted for special items, is projected to be between $0.79 and $0.83.
  • Capital expenditures, excluding timeshare inventory, are expected to be between $350 million and $400 million.
  • Net unit growth is expected to be approximately 40,000 rooms to 45,000 rooms.
  • Expect cash available for debt prepayments or capital return to stockholders to be between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion, including proceeds from the sale of the Hilton Sydney.

Second Quarter 2015

  • System-wide RevPAR is expected to increase between 5.0 percent and 7.0 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis compared to the second quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $740 million and $760 million.
  • Management and franchise fees are expected to increase approximately 11 percent to 13 percent.
  • Diluted EPS, adjusted for special items, is projected to be between $0.21 and $0.23.

Conference Call

Hilton Worldwide will host a conference call to discuss first quarter 2015 results on April 29, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants may listen to the live webcast by logging onto the Hilton Worldwide Investor Relations website athttp://ir.hiltonworldwide.com/investors/events-and-presentations. A replay and transcript of the webcast will be available within 24 hours after the live event at http://ir.hiltonworldwide.com/investors/financial-reporting/quarterly-results.

Alternatively, participants may listen to the live call by dialing 1-877-201-0168 in the United States or 1-647-788-4901 internationally. Please use the conference ID 14724435. Participants are encouraged to dial into the call or link to the webcast at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled start time. A telephone replay will be available for seven days following the call. To access the telephone replay, dial 1-855-859-2056 using the Conference ID 14724435.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to the expectations regarding the performance of Hilton’s business, financial results, liquidity and capital resources and other non-historical statements, including the statements in the “Outlook” section of this press release. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “seeks,” “projects,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates” or the negative version of these words or other comparable words. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including, among others, risks inherent to the hospitality industry, macroeconomic factors beyond Hilton’s control, competition for hotel guests, management and franchise agreements and timeshare sales, risks related to doing business with third-party hotel owners, Hilton’s significant investments in owned and leased real estate, performance of Hilton’s information technology systems, growth of reservation channels outside of Hilton’s system, risks of doing business outside of the United States and Hilton’s indebtedness. Additional factors that could cause Hilton’s results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found under the section entitled “Part I—Item 1A. Risk Factors” of the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), as such factors may be updated from time to time in Hilton’s periodic filings with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC’s website atwww.sec.gov. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this release and in Hilton’s filings with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Company refers to certain non-GAAP financial measures in this press release, including net income and EPS, adjusted for special items, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margins and Net Debt. Please see the schedules to the press release and “Definitions” for additional information and reconciliations of such non-GAAP financial measures.

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