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Host Hotels & Resorts' CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: HST

On a year-to-date basis, comparable hotel RevPAR increased 6.3% driven primarily by rate improvement. Total year-to-date comparable revenue growth of 5.3%, combined with profit margins that increased 80 basis points, resulted in year-to-date adjusted EBITDA of $669 million, which represents an increase of over 23%, an FFO per diluted share of $0.57.

Year-to-date, FFO per diluted share was negatively affected by $0.03 for acquisition, debt repayment and impairment costs.

Business mix trends were generally favorable this quarter as we realized demand and rate increases in both our transient and group business. As in the past quarter, transient demand and rate were the primary drivers of RevPAR growth.

Overall, transient room nights for the quarter increased 3%, led by a 5.5% increase in Special Corporate demand. While retail rated room nights were down slightly, the segment still recorded solid revenue growth driven by a 6.5% increase in average rate.

The strong rate performance in this segment, combined with the rate increases in all other transient segments, contributed to an overall rate increase of more than 4%. The increase in both transient demand and average rate produced transient revenue growth of more than 7%.

Turning to our group business. We were pleased to see a 1.3% improvement in demand despite the weather-related cancellations. The increase was driven entirely by a nearly 15% increase in demand in our higher-rated corporate business, as the discount segments declined 6%.

The combination of average rate increases in our higher-priced segments and positive mix shift resulted in an overall increase in group rate of more than 3%. This increase in rate, combined with the demand improvement, resulted in a nearly 4.5% increase in group revenue for the quarter.

Despite the upheaval in the equity markets created by headlines about legislative gridlock and slow employment growth in the U.S. and sovereign debt risks in the EU, our outlook for the remainder of the year remains quite positive. Our fourth quarter group booking pace is quite solid compared with last year with bookings up over 2% and revenues ahead by almost 5%.

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