April 29, 2021 at 03:52PM

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts posted mixed results for the first quarter of this year, with a decline in overall revenue, but an increase in its vacation ownership and travel and membership divisions. Select-service franchises — rooms-only operations — also had a strong start to the year.

“Wyndham’s select-service franchise business model delivered a strong start to 2021 as leisure customers hit the road at a pace not experienced since the pandemic started and demand from our everyday business travelers continued to accelerate,” Geoffrey Ballotti, president and chief executive officer, said in the company’s earnings report on Wednesday (April 28).

He added that the company saw domestic and international growth in its development pipelines and year-over-year improvement in “room openings and deletions.”

Further, Ballotti said Wyndham also saw a year-over-year uptick in conversion room openings, which accounted for “over 70% of total openings this quarter.”

Revenue in the first quarter was $303 million, compared to $410 million in the same quarter last year. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $129 million and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.39. 

Wyndham’s vacation ownership and travel and membership units both finished the quarter up. Vacation ownership interest (VOI) sales were $236 million, more than its guidance range of $210 million to $220 million, according to the report.

“The data clearly reflects an inflection in travel sentiment, which we believe will lead to a strong summer travel recovery,” Ballotti said.

March vacation ownership reservations for 2021 finished up 15 percent compared to 2019, and bookings for RCI North America were up 21 percent. In January and February, bookings were down double-digits.

Other news from Wyndham’s earnings call on Wednesday indicated that Las Vegas was back to being a top-three destination, with Orlando in the top slot. Wyndham also said there has been increased demand for “fly to-destinations,” which reflects a boost in travel demand, as well as an increase in the confidence to travel.

Wyndham is the largest hotel franchising company worldwide by the number of properties, with more than 8,900 hotels across nearly 95 countries on six continents. 

Wyndham said earlier this month that occupancy is now back to 85 percent of 2019 levels. Wyndham brands include Ramada, Days Inn, AmericInn, Super 8 and Hawthorn Suites.

Post-pandemic cross-border travel will likely be spurred in part by the use of digital wallets and other types of contactless payments, like QR codes. In a PYMNTS interview with Karen Webster, Citcon CEO Chuck Huang said that he expects QR codes will become more widely used.

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