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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Hilton's hotel heartbreak
News in brief
Sluggish hotel bookings have slashed the Hilton group's profits, offsetting a strong performance from its Ladbrokes betting empire.

The company on Friday told shareholders that pre-tax profits before one-off costs for the January to April period were 14% down on the year.

Average revenue per available room, the standard measure of performance in the hotel industry, was down by 5.9%, pressured by a dearth of high-spending US travellers.

"Americans are still not travelling in the numbers you would expect at this time of the year," a spokesman said.

The travel and hotel industry is still feeling the effects of the 11 September attacks, with many tourists putting off long-haul trips.

However, Hilton said it expected an increase in bookings during the second half of the year.

The company's Ladbrokes gambling chain performed strongly, buoyed by the abolition of betting tax in the UK.

Turnover rose 55%, and the World Cup finals should generate further sales increases during the next four-month period, the company said.

See also:

15 Nov 01 | Business
Hilton hit by tourism slump
30 Aug 01 | Business
Hilton hotels beat the slowdown
10 Oct 01 | Business
First e-trade probe for UK watchdog
12 Sep 01 | Business
Global air travel shut down
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