If you need a bed for the night, Hilton has a few hundred thousand of them. The company is one of the world's largest hoteliers with a lodging empire that includes more than 4,300 hotels and resorts in some 95 countries operating under such names as Doubletree, Embassy Suites, and Hampton, as well as its flagship Hilton brand. Many of its hotels serve the mid-market segment, though its Hilton and Conrad hotels offer full-service, upscale lodging. In addition, its Homewood Suites chain offers extended-stay services. The company franchises many of its hotels; it owns the Waldorf-Astoria brand and the New York Hilton. Hilton became a public company again in 2013.
After six years of being groomed by Blackstone for a return to the public market, Hilton went public again in December 2013 and raised $2.35 billion. The company used the proceeds to pay down debt.
With a name like Hilton Worldwide, the company has hotels in about 95 countries, but it generates almost 75% of sales in the US. Through new management, franchise, and/or development contracts, in recent years Hilton has added properties to its portfolio in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nambia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the US, and Vietnam.
With its extensive portfolio of brands, Hilton seeks to serve multiple segments within the lodging sector. The company's largest chains, Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites, include about 2,000 locations and target mid-market travelers with moderately priced rooms and limited amenities. Nearly all its Hampton hotels are operated by franchisees or by the company under management contracts with third-party owners.
At the other end of the scale, the company's Conrad chain offers luxury services and distinctive locations, while its Waldorf-Astoria Collection is a prestigious collection of hotels inspired by the New York landmark. The company's Hilton Grand Vacations subsidiary operates about 50 time-share vacation resorts, with a concentration located in Florida.
Sales and Marketing
Hilton relies on traditional advertising and promotions along with a variety of direct marketing techniques such as email and postal mailings to drum up business. A fair amount of the company’s hotel rooms get booked through internet travel intermediaries. Hilton pays commissions and transaction fees for sales of rooms through such services. The company also has a robust customer loyalty program it uses to try to generate return business.
Hilton has maintained steady revenue growth for the past five years. In fiscal 2014, revenue increased by 8% compared to fiscal 2013 to $10.5 billion. The company experienced increased revenue across all segments and regions, along with occupancy and rate increases in all regions except the Middle East and Africa.
The company’s net income has been growing consistently over the past five fiscal years. Its net income was $673 million in fiscal 2014, an increase of $258 million, or 62% compared to the prior fiscal period. The increased net income was the result of increased total revenue combined with decreased operating expenses.
Hilton's cash flow decreased by $735 million during fiscal 2014, but remained at a comfortable $1.36 billion.
Hilton has been focused on expansion. Its current development pipeline includes a total of 1,351 hotels with approximately 230,000 rooms which are under construction or approved for development. With a focus on its global business, more than half of the new hotels are located outside the US.
In 2015, Hilton sold its Waldorf Astoria New York hotel for $1.95 billion. The company used the proceeds from the sale to acquire five other hotel properties.