Q1 earnings season begins with Starwood, Wyndham, LaSalle


Hotel company first-quarter earnings reports are beginning to roll in—and the news is mixed.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide reported a net income decline of 36 percent compared with the same time last year. The company earned $137 million for the period compared with $213 million a year prior.

Revenue slipped 5 percent to $1.46 billion. Worldwide revenue per available room rose 6.3 percent.

Frits van Paasschen, CEO, said, "North America was our strongest region, benefitting from the economic recovery and growth in business travel which contributed to another quarter of record occupancy. We saw a strong pickup in China, driven by the outperformance of our properties in mainland China and ramp up of our nearly 4,000 room Sheraton Macao. Despite an uncertain economic and geopolitical environment, we remain focused on growing our footprint around the world."

During the quarter, Starwood signed 28 hotel management and franchise contracts, representing approximately 6,000 rooms, of which 23 are new builds and five are conversions from other brands.

Fellow multi-branded hotel operator, Wyndham Worldwide, also reported. For its hotel unit, Wyndham Hotel Group, revenues were $237 million in the first quarter, a 7-percent increase over the first quarter of 2013. Total system-wide RevPAR increased 4.0 percent compared with the same time a year ago. However, RevPAR gains were domestically (up 7.6 percent), which offset a 4.3-percent RevPAR decline in international hotels, which the company said primarily reflected unfavorable currency movements.

Meanwhile, as the Washington Business Journal reports, higher expenses led to wider losses for LaSalle Hotel Properties.

The REIT had first quarter revenue of $218.9 million, up 14 percent from a year earlier. However, it posted a net loss of $9 million.

LaSalle says RevPAR was up 4 percent from year ago results. Average daily room rates were up 6.2 percent.

"First quarter performance was in line with our expectations," said Michael D. Barnello, president and CEO. "RevPAR was above the midpoint of our outlook despite several winter storms that impacted our properties in the northeast and Chicago. Our first-quarter RevPAR was also impacted by tough comparisons in Washington, D.C., due to the inauguration last year and New York, which benefited from post Hurricane Sandy related business."

LaSalle's latest acquisiiton came earlier this month when it closed on its acquisition of the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco for $130 million.

Hyatt Hotels Corp and Marriott International Inc are scheduled to report quarterly results next week.