US hotel group Hilton has reported a sharp increase of 42 per cent in like-for-like earnings per share compared to 2015 in its first quarter.
Profit rose to $309m (£212m) – up from $150m in the same period in previous year – thanks to tax benefits and higher rooms rates.
Hilton earned 17 cents per share in its latest quarter, boosting its revenue around six per cent to $2.75bn.
The company's earnings per share and revenue handily beat Wall Street estimates of 16 cents per share on revenue of $2.72bn.
For the full year forecast earnings are between 92 to 98 cents per share with the adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation projected to be $3.02bn to $3.1bn. For the second-quarter adjusted earnings are expected to come in between 25 cents and 27 cents per share.
Hilton approved 26,000 new rooms for development during the first quarter, a 14 per cent increase from the same period in 2015, and growing its development pipeline to 1,729 hotels.
Hilton announced in February it would spin off most of its assets into a real estate investment trust shortly before new regulations came in barring such deals.
The move was a popular one among companies looking to unlock value in their real-estate holdings.
Hilton said it expected this year’s so-called RevPAR, a key metric of hotel health calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily room rate by occupancy rate, to increase by three to five per cent over the year.