Income from continuing operations was $65 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $158 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding special items, income from continuing operations was $137 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding special items, income from continuing operations was $140 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Net income was $142 million and $0.72 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $167 million and $0.85 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Frits van Paasschen, CEO, said, “We are happy to report strong results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012. All four key drivers of value performed well. We held our costs in check for the fourth year in a row, grew our footprint with quality hotels and contracts, sustained high REVPAR and occupancies in an uncertain environment, and we realized great value from real estate sales.”
“Our balance sheet has never been stronger in the history of the company. In December, we issued 10-year senior notes at 3.125%, what we believe to be the lowest rate ever by a U.S. lodging company for publicly traded 10-year notes. During 2012, we returned over half a billion dollars of capital to shareholders. We increased our dividend by 150%, and repurchased 6.3 million shares for $320 million. Going forward, we will deploy capital by reinvesting in our business and by returning cash to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases.”“The year looks to be somewhat stronger than 2012, as the uncertainty we saw in major world economies is showing signs of giving way to stronger demand growth. Beyond next year into the foreseeable future, we are bullish about the long-term outlook on the global high-end lodging industry. We are poised to benefit from higher rates in North America and Europe where demand is growing but supply is already short. Even more important, the dramatic economic growth in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa is fueling demand for our brands worldwide.”