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UPDATE 1-Strong U.S. hotel demand drives Hyatt's profit beat

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 | 11:41 AM ET

* Adjusted earnings/share $0.23 vs est $0.21

* U.S. full-service hotel RevPAR rises 7.6 pct

* Asia-Pacific rates fall 4.5 pct at managed properties

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Hyatt Hotels Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as improved U.S. demand made up for a decline in average room prices at its international hotels.

A rebound in business travel in the United States has boosted both occupancy and room rates in recent months. Hyatt's U.S. full-service hotel revenue per available room, or RevPAR, rose 7.6 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

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

In contrast, RevPAR fell 3 percent for managed and franchise hotels in the Asia-Pacific region, hurt mainly by China.

"A lack of demand in China, increased supply growth in China and tougher Olympic-related comparisons in Europe in the third quarter were mainly the culprits," FBR Capital Markets & Co analyst Nikhil Bhalla said.

Average daily room rates at managed properties fell 4.5 percent across the Asia-Pacific region and 2.4 percent across the Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Comparable owned and leased hotel operating margins across both regions decreased 2.3 percentage points in the quarter, compared with a 1.1 percentage point rise in the Americas.

The company said its board on Tuesday authorized a share repurchase program of up to an additional $200 million.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.02 billion in the third quarter. Net income rose to $55 million, or 35 cents per share, from $23 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported adjusted earnings of 23 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 21 cents per share on revenue of $1.03 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company were trading marginally down at $46.83 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock has risen about 19 percent this year to its Tuesday close.

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