Choice Hotels International had a solid first quarter, recording net income of $18.97 million, up from $15.52 million at the same time last year. Franchising revenues increased 6 percent to $63.2 million and franchising margins were 60.2 percent, an increase of 510 basis points from 2013.
Stephen Joyce, president and CEO, said, "We are very pleased with the first quarter performance of our franchising business which exceeded our expectations and resulted in a 15-percent increase in franchising EBITDA and an expansion of our franchising margins due to our strong RevPAR growth and disciplined cost management."
RevPAR was also up domestically, increasing 5.6 percent in the quarter as occupancy and average daily rates increased 200 basis points and 1.1 percent, respectively from the same period of 2013.
The company executed 59 new domestic hotel franchise contracts compared to 83 new domestic hotel franchise contracts for the same period of 2013. This included the multi-faceted strategic marketing alliance with Bluegreen Corporation, which resulted in the addition of 21 Bluegreen Vacation Club Resorts to Choice's Ascend Hotel Collection.
Choice also inked a partnership to grow its Cambria Suites brand in Canada via a joint venture between Driftwood Hospitality Management and Pacrim Hospitality Services.
Domestic relicensing and contract renewal transactions for the three months ended March 31, 2014, totaled 83 contracts, an increase of 20 percent from the same period of 2013.
The company sold two of its three company-owned Mainstay Suites hotels during the quarter resulting in a $2.6-million gain.