LOS ANGELES-Hilton Hotels Corp. says its third-quarter earnings rose 9.1% from a year earlier, thanks to strong summer travel, higher rooms rates and the continuing strength of its big-city lodging properties.

Beverly Hills-based Hilton is the nation’s third-largest hotel chain. It owns the Doubletree and Hampton Inns chains in addition to the Hilton brand. The company’s third-quarter profit from operations rose to $60 million, or 16 cents a share, from a year-earlier $55 million, or 15 cents a share.Revenue rose 11% to $867 million. The earnings report matched the average estimate of a Wall Street analysts survey by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Hilton says its third-quarter performance was boosted by strong leisure and business travel in the summer and an increase in room rates at many of its properties. Demand remains particularly strong in several big cities–including San Francisco, New York and Chicago–where few competing projects have been opened, Hilton officials say.

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