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TheStreet Open House

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that we will be making statements on this call related to company plans, prospects and expectations that constitute forward-looking statements under the Safe Harbor provision of the Securities Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as Starwood or its management believes, expects, anticipates, foresees, forecasts, estimates or other words or phrases of similar import. All such statements are based on our expectations as of today, and should not be relied on as representing our expectations as of any subsequent date. Actual results might differ from our discussion today. I point you to our 10-K and other SEC filings available from the SEC or through our offices here and on our website at starwoodhotels.com for some of the factors that could cause results to differ.

With that, I'm pleased to turn the call over to Frits for his comments.

Frits van Paasschen

Thank you, Stephen. Hello, all, and thanks for joining us today. Those of you familiar with our past calls will note that I'll follow the similar format today. I'll start with some comments about the global business climate, client travel, our Q2 results and our outlook for the rest of the year. And then I'll recap our long-term view and 3 key factors that will drive value for Starwood. This will lead me to a discussion of our overall strategy for managing through today's business landscape.

So I'll turn out to my first topic, the global business climate. We began this year amidst fears of a U.S. double-dip, a hard lending in China and major conflict in the Middle East. By the end of Q1, fears subsided and our near-term outlook was more upbeat than it had been for sometime. Now here we are one quarter later and headlines are once again taking a more fearful turn. We read reports of slowdowns in China and India. Latin America seems to have lost momentum. Europe is in its third summer of discontent, leaving the U.S. as a safe haven despite its own slow recovery and fiscal questions. And yet, even then the face of these headlines, our business around the world has held up well. Worldwide REVPAR was up nearly 7% in local currencies. Occupancy was at a healthy level, over 71% and there is no talk among our corporate customers about cutting travel.

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