A first read through the Starwood Hotels earnings release and you can’t help but ask “when will the bloodbath ever end?” Worldwide revenue per available room (REVPAR) on a same-store basis for Starwood hotels fell a staggering 20.3% in the quarter. Profit margins fell roughly 4 percentage points and that’s even after more cost cutting. The company’s high-end hotels were especially hard hit – St. Regis saw a 23.2% REVPAR decline and W Hotels was down 22.9%.
But the company is starting to see signs of recovery. Bookings for 2011 have picked up although 2010 bookings are lagging. Companies that book for business purposes remain tentative about next year. That said, Starwood sees REVPAR for next year flat to down 5% and for the next quarter, a decline of 9% to 11%. These aren’t growth numbers. But again, it’s showing signs of the declines moderating.