Starwood Q4 Profits Rise 28 Percent

Starwood Hotels & Resorts reported strong earnings in its fourth quarter, due in part to higher operating margins and increased revenue per available room. Starwood's earnings were up $44 million from the same period last year. The end of the year also marked the first time that management and franchise fees became the biggest contributor to the company's financial success. Starwood in recent years has divested much of its owned properties to focus on management instead. "We've shifted the center of gravity from a hotel ownership business to a high-growth fee business," said Steve Heyer, Starwood's chief executive.

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