“We are expanding into meaningful and new markets around the world with recent openings and we continue to enjoy great demand for our brands around the world as we sign new contracts for additional hotels. During the quarter, we opened the Andaz Amsterdam and our first two select service hotels outside of the U.S. For the year, we opened 22 hotels and our base of executed contracts for new hotels grew by over 15%. We expect to open over 30 hotels in 2013, including the conversion of four iconic hotels in Paris, Nice and Cannes to Hyatt brands. Adding an aggregate of approximately 1,700 rooms, this will more than double our presence in France and is a meaningful expansion of our coverage in continental Europe.
“Looking ahead, we are focused on growing our market share, increasing owned and leased margins, improving results at recently renovated and newly acquired hotels, and continuing to support expansion of our brand presence around the world. We expect that there will be headwinds in some markets, but given our concentration of earnings in the U.S., and the diversity of our business model, we look forward to a year of stable growth.
“During the second half of 2012, we completed several unique transactions to expand presence, recycle capital, earn strong returns, and strengthen our relationships with partners that are important to our future. In addition, we repurchased approximately 3.7 million shares of Class A common stock in 2012 for approximately $136 million. We are well-situated for the future with strong brands, well-positioned hotels, ample resources and a business model that is oriented to take advantage of market opportunities.”
SEGMENT RESULTS & OTHER ITEMSOwned and Leased Hotels Segment Total segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. Owned and leased Adjusted EBITDA increased 1.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. Pro rata share of unconsolidated hospitality ventures Adjusted EBITDA decreased 21.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
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