Choice Hotels International has reported earnings of £104.5m for the year 2009, a fall from £130m during the previous year.
The group, one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, revealed that franchising revenues declined by £29.1m or 15% to £162.5m in 2009, compared to £191.5m in 2008, while revenue per available room (revpar) fell 14.4% last year, compared to the previous year.
The number of new hotel franchise contracts for the group behind the Comfort, Quality, Clarion and Sleep Inn brands also fell by 47%, from 698 in 2008 to 369 in 2009.
“Despite operating in the midst of an incredibly difficult environment, which has resulted in industry wide revpar declines, the company has remained focused on returning value to our shareholders,” said Stephen Joyce, president and chief executive of Choice Hotels.
“During 2009, we returned more than £64m to our shareholders through a combination of share repurchasers and dividends at a time when many other companies have reduced or eliminated their dividend and share purchase programmes.”
By Janet Harmer
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