Travelers interested in luxury lodgings can check in for the Hyatt touch. The company is one of the world's top operators of luxury hotels and resorts with more than 480 managed, franchised, and owned properties in some 45 countries. Its core Hyatt Regency brand offers hospitality services targeted primarily to business travelers and upscale vacationers. The firm also operates the upscale, full service Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, and Andaz brands, as well as Park Hyatt (luxury), Hyatt Place (select service), and Hyatt Summerfield Suites (extended stay) brands. Although Hyatt Hotels was formed in 2004, the Hyatt chain traces its roots back to 1957. It is majority-owned by the wealthy Pritzker family of Chicago.
Hyatt reported a successful 2011 fiscal year, when the company posted a 5% increase in revenues and a 71% increase in profits. The positive results were concurrent with the US economy continuing its recovery, causing a steady increase in business travel. Net income that year was $113 million, compared with $66 million in 2010 (and up from a loss of $43 million in 2009). In particular the company saw growth at its international and select service properties, as well as favorable currency conditions and in increase in other revenues from managed properties, due in part to higher cost reimbursements to Hyatt by managed properties and higher occupancy rates at North American hotels. The company expects to see continued positive earnings as it is able to raise corporate rates in response to improving markets.
Along with its rosy financial results, the growing company in 2011 acquired about 20 hotels, most of them extended stay hotels, from LodgeWorks in a deal worth $660 million. It is converting the properties to Hyatt properties, many of which will be branded as Hyatt Summerfield Suites, though Summerfield Suites is in the process of converting to the Hyatt House brand. Hyatt made the transaction to strengthen its select-service and extended stay capabilities, as well as enter nine US markets where it doesn't already have a presence.
During 2011 Hyatt added 40 hotels to its portfolio and removed about 10. A key part of its strategy is to increase its franchise and managed properties, a business model that is associated with lower costs than outright ownership. In 2011 it executed management or franchise contracts for more than 170 hotels across all brands. And while nearly 80% of the company's revenues come from the US, approximately 70% of its new hotels will be located outside North America.
Outside the US, the company has existing properties in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK); the Middle East (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Saudi Arabia); Latin America (Argentina and Brazil); and Asia (India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea). As part of its international strategy, Hyatt is focusing on markets such as Brazil, China, India, Russia, and the Middle East for growth. At the end of 2011 the company had approximately 50 hotels open or under development in China in key markets such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. It also expanded in India during 2011, bringing the total count of hotels under development there to more than 50.
In addition to owning about 57% of the outstanding shares of common stock, the Pritzkers control about 76% of the company's total voting power.