Wyndham Pushed Branding In 2000

DALLAS— Wyndham International is looking at its presence of branded assets in locations with high barriers to entry as one of its strengths for 2001, said Fred Kleisner, chairman/CEO. That, and the fact that overall industry supply growth is slowing, will help Wyndham continue to enhance its earnings health, said Kleisner, who believes that Wyndham’s position in the upper upscale market is the place to be in a potentially slowing economy. Branding appeared to be the company’s strength, especially in the fourth quarter, when Wyndham-branded comparable owned and leased hotels increased RevPAR by 5.7%, compared with an overall 4.4% increase in RevPAR for the quarter. For the full year, RevPAR on comparable owned and leased hotels grew 4.1%. For the fourth quarter, Wyndham reported a net loss of $170.4 million, or $1.18 per share (diluted), compared with a loss of $150.7 million, or $1.05 per share (diluted), for the same period the prior year. The loss was due primarily to a charge to earnings related to the impairment of assets. Without the charge, Wyndham would have reported a loss of $5.2 million or 19 cents per share (diluted). For 2000, Wyndham reported a net loss of $324.7 million, or $2.56 per share (diluted), compared to a loss of $1.07 billion, or $7.20 per share for 1999. Without the charges, it would have reported a loss of $32.7 million or 81 cents per share (diluted). Wyndham in the fourth quarter sold $140.6 million of non-strategic assets, including Malmaison’s in the U.K. For 2000, Wyndham sold $418.8 million in non-strategic assets. The strategy will continue in 2001. Other plans include a plan to franchise the Wyndham Hotels brand, marking a new direction for the company. In 2000 the company firmed up its management structure, in part by adding President/COO Ted Teng.