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China Lodging plans to add 278 hotels in 2012
March 7 2012

The company opened 201 hotels during 2011, bringing the total hotel count to 639.

HNN Newswire

SHANGHAI -- China Lodging Group, Limited, a leading and high-growth economy hotel chain operator in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2011.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Operational Highlights
• During the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company opened 59 new hotels, including 30 leased-and-operated hotels and 29 franchised-and-managed hotels.

• The ADR, or average daily rate, for all hotels, was RMB179 in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with RMB194 in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB183 in the previous quarter. The year-over-year decrease was mainly attributable to the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo. In Shanghai, the ADR was RMB181 in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with RMB242 in the fourth quarter of 2010. The sequential decrease resulted mainly from the Company's seasonal price adjustment.

• The occupancy rate for all hotels in operation was 93% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 87% in the fourth quarter of 2010, and 97% in the previous quarter. The year-over-year improvement was mainly attributable to a 22% occupancy increase in Shanghai, which experienced a low occupancy in November and December of 2010 after the Shanghai Expo. The sequential decrease resulted mainly from seasonality.

• RevPAR, defined as revenue per available room, was RMB167 in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with RMB168 in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB177 in the previous quarter. The stable year-over-year RevPAR performance was a mixed result of a higher occupancy offset by a lower ADR mainly due to price increase during, and occupancy drop after, the Shanghai Expo. Outside of Shanghai, RevPAR increased 1% year-over-year.

• For all the hotels which had been in operation for at least 18 months, the same-hotel RevPAR was RMB184 for the fourth quarter of 2011, a 5% increase from RMB175 for the fourth quarter of 2010. Outside of Shanghai, the same-hotel RevPAR increased by 7%, with a 3% increase in ADR and a 4% increase in occupancy.

Full Year 2011 Operational Highlights
• For the full year of 2011, the Company opened 201 net new hotels in total, including 101 net new leased-and-operated hotels and 100 net new franchised-and-managed hotels. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 639 hotels in operation, consisting of 344 leased-and-operated hotels and 295 franchised-and-managed hotels. Hotels in operation covered 100 cities in China as of December 31, 2011, compared with 65 cities at the end of 2010. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 22 Seasons Hotels and 28 Hi Inns in operation.

• As of December 31, 2011, the Company had a total pipeline of 278 hotels under development, including 93 leased-and-operated hotels and 185 franchised-and-managed hotels.

• For the full year of 2011, the ADR was RMB180, compared to RMB197 in 2010. The decrease was primarily due to the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo, a higher percentage of new hotels in ramp-up stage, and the shift of city mix of hotels toward lower tier cities, partially offset by an increase in same-hotel ADR.

• For the full year of 2011, the occupancy rate for all hotels in operation was 92%, compared with 93% in 2010. During 2011, 201 net new hotels were opened. The Company believes that the achievement of 92% occupancy, during a year with 46% year-over-year hotel count growth, reflected the wide popularity of Hanting's products and services and the fast-growing demand in China for reliable, reasonably-priced lodging products.

• For the full year of 2011, the RevPAR was RMB165, compared with RMB183 in 2010. The decrease was mainly driven by a lower ADR as noted above.

• For all the hotels which had been in operation for at least 18 months, the same-hotel RevPAR was RMB183 in 2011, compared to RMB189 in 2010, mainly due to the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo. Outside of Shanghai, the same-hotel RevPAR increased by 4% for the full year, with a 4% increase in ADR and a stable occupancy.

• As of December 31, 2011, HanTing Club had more than 4.4 million individual members, a 68% increase from the end of 2010. The individual members contributed 66% of room nights sold during the full year of 2011, improving from 61% of room nights sold in 2010. The Company's corporate members contributed another 10% of room nights sold. In 2011, 96% of room nights were sold through the Company's own channels.

"We are delighted that we made solid progress in 2011, growing our hotel count by 46% and city coverage by 54%. Our proven brand strength and well-established hotel management platform continued to attract a growing number of franchisees. We remain committed to optimizing our products and hotel service procedures to maintain outstanding operational and financial performance," said Mr. Qi Ji, founder, executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of China Lodging Group. "Our rapid and high-quality expansion leads to a fast-growing customer base and a robust pipeline of hotels under development, which will support our future growth."

Fourth Quarter and full year of 2011 Financial Results
Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB689.9 million (US$109.6 million), representing a 44.2% year-over-year increase and a 3.8% sequential increase. The year-over-year and sequential increases were primarily due to the increase in the number of hotels.Total revenues for the year of 2011 were RMB2,385.6 million (US$379.0 million), representing an increase of 29.8% from the year of 2010.

Total revenues from leased-and-operated hotels for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB626.7 million (US$99.6 million), representing a 43.1% year-over-year increase and a 3.4% sequential increase.

For the year of 2011, total revenues from leased-and-operated hotels were RMB2,172.9 million (US$345.2 million), representing a 27.2% year over year increase. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 344 leased-and-operated hotels in operation, compared with 243 at the end of 2010.
Total revenues from franchised-and-managed hotels for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB63.2 million (US$10.0 million), representing a 55.6% year-over-year increase and an 8.2% sequential increase.

For the year of 2011, total revenues from franchised-and-managed hotels were RMB 212.6 million (US$33.8 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 62.8%, or 8.9% of total revenues, compared to 7.1% of total revenues for the year of 2010. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 295 franchised-and-managed hotels in operation, compared with 195 at the end of 2010.

Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB650.7 million (US$103.4 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 43.8% and a sequential increase of 3.8%.

Net revenues for the full year of 2011 were RMB2,249.6 million (US$357.4 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 29.4%.

Hotel operating costs for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB493.8 million (US$78.5 million), compared to RMB323.3 million (US$49.0 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB452.6 million (US$71.0 million) in the previous quarter, representing a 52.8% and a 9.1% increase, respectively.
The Company's hotel network expansion, especially the growth in leased-and-operated hotels, was the main driver for the increase in hotel operating costs. The average number of leased-and-operated hotels in operation[4] during the fourth quarter of 2011 increased 48.5% from the same period of 2010 and 10.6% sequentially. Total hotel operating costs excluding share-based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB493.3 million (US$78.4 million), representing 75.8% of net revenues, compared to 71.3% for the fourth quarter in 2010 and 72.1% in the previous quarter. The year-over-year increase in percentage was mainly caused by higher percentage of new leased-and-operated hotels in ramp-up stage, and the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo. The sequential increase in percentage was primarily due to lower RevPAR as a result of seasonality.

For the full year of 2011, total hotel operating costs were RMB1,703.3 million (US$270.6 million), compared to RMB1,180.2 million (US$178.8 million) in 2010. Excluding share-based compensation, the hotel operating costs (non-GAAP) were RMB1,701.2 million (US$270.3 million), representing 75.6% of net revenues, compared to 67.8% in 2010. The year-over-year increase in percentage was mainly driven by a higher percentage of new leased-and-operated hotels in ramp-up stage, and the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo. During 2011, leased-and-operated hotels in operation less than six months contributed 18% of leased-and-operated hotel room nights available for sale, compared with only 7% in 2010.

Selling and marketing expenses for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB29.3 million (US$4.7 million), compared to RMB19.2 million (US$2.9 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB24.9 million (US$3.9 million) in the previous quarter. Selling and marketing expenses excluding share-based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB29.1 million (US$4.6 million), or 4.5% of net revenues, compared to 4.2% for the fourth quarter in 2010 and 4.0% for the previous quarter. The increase in percentage resulted from an increase in sales promotions in the fourth quarter.

For the full year of 2011, total selling and marketing expenses were RMB94.8 million (US$15.1 million), compared to RMB70.8 million (US$10.7 million) in 2010. Selling and marketing expenses excluding share-based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) were RMB94.0 million (US$14.9 million), representing 4.2% of net revenues, compared to 4.1% in 2010, mainly due to a revenue base favorably impacted by the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

General and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB43.8 million (US$7.0 million), compared to RMB33.4 million (US$5.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB39.4 million (US$6.2 million) in the previous quarter. General and administrative expenses excluding share-based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB41.6 million (US$6.6 million), representing 6.4% of net revenues, compared with 6.8% of net revenues in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 5.6% in the previous quarter. The year-over-year decrease in percentage was mainly due to a larger revenue base.

General and administrative expenses were RMB160.1 million (US$25.4 million) for the year of 2011, compared to RMB120.0 million (US$18.2 million) in 2010.General and administrative expenses excluding share-based compensation expenses were RMB147.5 million (US$23.4 million), representing 6.5% of net revenues, compared to 6.3% in 2010, mainly due to a revenue base favorably impacted by the Shanghai Expo in 2010.
Pre-opening expenses for the fourth quarter of 2011 were RMB49.5 million (US$7.9 million), compared to RMB45.9 million (US$7.0 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB54.0 million (US$8.5 million) in the previous quarter. The pre-opening expenses were primarily driven by the number of leased-and-operated hotels under conversion during the period. 30 leased-and-operated hotels were opened during this quarter and another 93 were in the pipeline at the end of the quarter, compared to 43 opened and 69 in the pipeline during the same quarter in 2010, and 33 opened and 88 in the pipeline for the previous quarter.

Pre-opening expenses for the full year of 2011 were RMB184.3 million (US$29.3 million), compared to RMB111.2 million (US$16.9 million) in 2010, representing a year-over-year increase of 65.7%. The increase in pre-opening expenses was mainly a result of our acceleration of leased-and-operated hotel opening from 70 in 2010 to 101 in 2011, and the expansion of leased-and-operated hotel pipeline from 69 at the end of 2010 to 93 at the end of 2011. In addition, the extended conversion period as a result of regulatory changes in new hotel license approval process also led to increased pre-opening expenses in 2011.

Income from operations for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB34.4 million (US$5.5 million), compared to RMB30.9 million (US$4.7 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB55.9 million (US$8.8 million) in the previous quarter. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, adjusted income from operations (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB37.2 million (US$5.9 million).

Income from operations for the year was RMB107.1 million (US$17.0 million), compared to RMB256.3 million (US$38.8 million) in 2010. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, adjusted income from operations (non-GAAP) for the year of 2011 was RMB122.6 million (US$19.5 million).
Net income attributable to China Lodging Group, Limited for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB30.3 million (US$4.8 million), compared to RMB34.9 million (US$5.3 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB58.2 million (US$9.1 million) in the previous quarter. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, adjusted net income attributable to China Lodging Group, Limited (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB33.2 million (US$5.3 million), compared to RMB38.4 million (US$5.8 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB63.2 million (US$9.9 million) in the previous quarter. The sequential decrease in net income was mainly due to seasonality.

Net income attributable to China Lodging Group, Limited for the full year of 2011 was RMB114.8 million (US$18.2 million), compared to RMB215.8 million (US$32.7 million) in 2010. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, adjusted net income attributable to China Lodging Group (non-GAAP) for the full year of 2011 was RMB130.3 million (US$20.7 million), compared to RMB 228.9 million (US$34.7 million) in 2010. The year-over-year decrease was mainly attributable to the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo, more leased-and-operated hotels in ramp-up stage and higher pre-opening expenses as a result of expansion in 2011, partially offset by a higher profit from the expanded base of franchised-and-managed hotels and mature leased-and-operated hotels outside of Shanghai, a higher interest income and foreign exchange gain, and lower interest expenses and income tax.

Basic and diluted net earnings per share/ADS. For the fourth quarter of 2011, basic net earnings per share and diluted net earnings per share were RMB0.12 (US$0.02); basic net earnings per ADS was RMB0.50 (US$0.08) and diluted net earnings per ADS was RMB0.49 (US$0.08). For the fourth quarter of 2011, excluding share-based compensation expenses, adjusted basic net earnings per share (non-GAAP) was RMB0.14 (US$0.02) and adjusted diluted net earnings per share (non-GAAP) was RMB0.13 (US$0.02), adjusted basic net earnings per ADS (non-GAAP) was RMB0.55 (US$0.09) and adjusted diluted net earnings per ADS (non-GAAP) was RMB0.54 (US$0.09).

For the full year of 2011, basic net earnings per share and diluted net earnings per share was RMB0.47 (US$0.08); basic net earnings per ADS was RMB1.90 (US$0.30), while diluted net earnings per share was RMB1.87 (US$0.30). For the full year of 2011, excluding share-based compensation expenses, adjusted net earnings per share (non-GAAP) was RMB0.54 (US$0.09), while adjusted diluted net earnings per share (non-GAAP) was RMB0.53 (US$0.08), and adjusted net earnings per ADS (non-GAAP) was RMB2.15 (US$0.34), while adjusted diluted net earnings per ADS (non-GAAP) was RMB2.12 (US$0.34).

EBITDA (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB112.0 million (US$17.8 million), compared with RMB92.9 million (US$14.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB125.1 million (US$19.6 million) in the previous quarter. Excluding pre-opening expenses and share-based compensation expenses, adjusted EBITDA from operating hotels (non-GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB164.4 million (US$26.1 million), compared with RMB142.2 million (US$21.5 million) for the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB184.2 million (US$28.9 million) for the previous quarter. The year-over-year increase was mainly due to the expansion of the Company's network. The sequential decrease was mainly due to seasonality.
EBITDA (non-GAAP) for the full year of 2011 was RMB377.4 million (US$60.0 million), compared to RMB447.2 million (US$67.8 million) in 2010.

Excluding pre-opening expenses and share-based compensation expenses, adjusted EBITDA from operating hotels (non-GAAP) for the full year of 2011 was RMB577.2 million (US$91.7 million), compared with RMB571.6 million (US$86.6 million) in 2010. The growth of adjusted EBITDA were mainly driven by the expanded base of franchised-and-managed hotels and mature leased-and-operated hotels outside of Shanghai, partially offset by the absence of one-time favorable impact from the Shanghai Expo, and a higher percentage of leased-and-operated hotels in ramp-up stage.

Hotel income (non-GAAP), which is the difference between net revenues and hotel operating costs, was RMB156.9 million (US$24.9 million) for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with RMB129.4 million (US$19.6 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and RMB174.1 million (US$27.3 million) in the previous quarter. The year-over-year increase of hotel income (non-GAAP) was mainly attributable to the enlarged franchised-and-managed hotel network and increased number of mature leased-and-operated hotels in the portfolio. For leased-and-operated hotels in operation for at least six months, the hotel income (non-GAAP) was RMB112.2 million (US$17.8 million) during the fourth quarter of 2011, or 21% of net revenues derived from those hotels. Leased-and-operated hotels in operation for less than six months accounted for 15% of leased-and-operated room nights available for sale in the fourth quarter of 2011. Those hotels derived a hotel loss (non-GAAP) of RMB5.6 million (US$0.9 million), or 9% of net revenues derived from those hotels this quarter, mainly due to lower revenue achievement of those hotels during their ramp-up stage. For franchised-and-managed hotels, the hotel income (non-GAAP) was RMB50.4 million (US$8.0 million), or 85% of net revenue derived from those hotels. As an increasing number of leased-and-operated hotels reach maturity and the franchised-and-managed hotel network grows, the Company expects the profit base to expand steadily.

Hotel income (non-GAAP) for the full year of 2011 was RMB546.3 million (US$86.8 million), compared with RMB558.3 million (US$84.6 million) for 2010. The slight year-over-year decrease was mainly due to the absence of one-time benefit from Expo and more new hotels in operation, partially offset by higher hotel income generated from the expanded network of franchised-and-managed hotels and mature leased-and-operated hotels outside of Shanghai. For leased-and-operated hotels in operation for at least six months, the hotel income (non-GAAP) was RMB420.9 million (US$66.9 million) during 2011, or 23% of net revenues derived from those hotels. Leased-and-operated hotels in operation for less than six months derived a hotel loss (non-GAAP) of RMB42.2 million (US$6.7 million), or 18% of net revenues derived from those hotels in 2011. For franchised-and-managed hotels, the hotel income (non-GAAP) was RMB167.6 million (US$26.6 million), or 84% of net revenue derived from those hotels.
Cash flow. Net operating cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2011 was RMB143.2 million (US$22.8 million). Cash spent on the purchase of property and equipment, purchase of intangible assets and acquisitions, which are part of investing cash flow, was RMB231.3 million (US$36.8 million).
Net operating cash flow for the full year of 2011 was RMB467.1 million (US$74.2 million). Cash spent on the purchase of property and equipment, purchase of intangible and acquisitions was RMB841.3 million (US$133.7 million).

Cash and cash equivalents, Restricted cash, and Short-term investment. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had a total balance of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investment of RMB783.1 million (US$124.4 million).

Business Outlook and Guidance for 2012
"We remain optimistic on the growing trend of travelling demand in China. Leading hotel chains are expanding market share through consolidating existing stand-alone hotels and converting non-hotel properties into hotels. We continued to see tremendous growth opportunities in future years. Hanting's wide brand recognition and strong performance record made Hanting an attractive choice for franchisees, who in turn helped us accelerate our network expansion." commented Mr. Ji.

"We envision, in the next five years, Hanting to grow into a large-scale, multi-brand hotel group and to become an undisputed market leader across the mid-scale, economy and budget hotel segments." added Mr. Ji.

The Company expects to achieve net revenues in the range of RMB605 to 620 million in the first quarter of 2012, representing a 43% to 46% growth year-over-year. For the full year 2012, the Company expects net revenues to grow 34.5% to 37.5%.

The above forecast reflects the Company's current and preliminary view, which is subject to change.

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