New Domestic Hotel Franchise Sales Increase 20%

Second Quarter Franchising EBITDA Increases 12%

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 8, 2014 -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) today reported the following highlights for the second quarter of 20141:

  • Diluted earnings per share ("EPS") from continuing operations for the three months ended June 30, 2014 totaled $0.60, an increase of 11 percent from the same period of 2013.
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") from franchising activities for the three months ended June 30, 2014 totaled $66.6 million, an increase of 12 percent from the same period of 2013.
  • Franchising revenues for the three months ended June 30, 2014 totaled $93.8 million, an increase of 8 percent from the same period of 2013.
  • Franchising margins for the three months ended June 30, 2014 were 68.8 percent, an increase of 270 basis points from the same period of 2013.
  • Domestic royalty fees for the three months ended June 30, 2014 totaled $71.2 million, an increase of 7 percent from the same period of 2013. Domestic royalty fees for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013 are based on our domestic franchisees' underlying gross room revenues for the periods April 1 through June 30 and January 1 through June 30 of 2014 and 2013, respectively. Domestic royalty fees based on domestic franchisee gross room revenues from March 1 through May 31, which corresponds to the Company's previous revenue recognition policy, were $66.6 million and $62.2 million for 2014 and 2013, respectively.
  • Domestic unit and room growth increased 1.8 percent and 0.9 percent from June 30, 2013, respectively.
  • Domestic system-wide revenue per available room ("RevPAR") increased 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 as occupancy and average daily rates increased 280 basis points and 2.9 percent, respectively from the same period of 2013. RevPAR for the three months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013 are based on our domestic franchisees' underlying gross room revenues for the period April 1 through June 30 of 2014 and 2013, respectively.
  • The company executed 125 new domestic hotel franchise contracts for the three months ended June 30, 2014, an increase of 20%, compared to 104 new domestic hotel franchise contracts for the same period of 2013.
  • The company's domestic pipeline of hotels under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development increased 16% from June 30, 2013.

"During the second quarter, momentum in our core lodging business was very strong and we are pleased with our performance, which exceeded our expectations. We achieved continued net domestic unit growth, strong development results and a nearly 8% percent increase in domestic RevPAR," said Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive officer. "These trends supported double-digit percentage EBITDA growth and meaningful franchising margin expansion. We are optimistic that our performance will continue to be strong in the second half of 2014."

Discontinued Operations

In the first quarter of 2014, the company entered into a plan to sell its three owned hotels operated under the MainStay Suites brand. The company determined that the disposal of these hotels met the definition of a discontinued operation since the operations and cash flows of these components will be eliminated from the on-going operations of the company and the company will not have significant continuing involvement in the operations of the hotels after the disposal transaction.

At June 30, 2014, the company had disposed of all three of the owned MainStay Suites hotels and the new owners of each of those hotels had executed new franchise agreements with the company.

The company's consolidated statements of income for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2014 reflect these three company-owned hotels as discontinued operations. In addition, the company's statements of income for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013 have been reclassified to account for these operations as discontinued. Summarized financial information related to these discontinued operations is presented in Exhibit 9 of this press release.

Outlook

The company's consolidated 2014 outlook reflects continued growth of the company's core hotel franchising business, continued investment in the SkyTouch division and the sale of the three company-owned Mainstay Suites hotels described above as well as the following assumptions:

  • All figures assume no repurchases of common stock under the company's share repurchase program; and
  • The effective tax rate for continuing operations is expected to be 30.7% for the third quarter and full-year 2014.

Franchising

  • EBITDA from franchising activities for full-year 2014 are expected to range between $231 million and $234 million;
  • Approximately $2.5 million of the $3 million increase at the mid-point of our franchising EBITDA outlook compared to the outlook we furnished on April 28, 2014 in conjunction with our first quarter 2014 earnings announcement is due to year-to-date performance through June 30, 2014 and anticipated improved operating fundamentals and performance for the second-half of 2014. The remainder of the increase is due to the change in accounting for royalty and certain marketing and reservation fees described below;
  • Net domestic unit growth for 2014 is expected to range between 1% and 2%;
  • RevPAR is expected to increase approximately 6.5% for the third quarter and 6.25% to 7.25% for full-year 2014; and
  • The effective royalty rate is expected to decline 4 basis points for full-year 2014.

SkyTouch

  • Reductions in EBITDA from our investment in SkyTouch for full-year 2014 are expected to be approximately $20 million, which is unchanged from the outlook we provided in April with our first quarter results;
  • We continue to expect execution of third-party contracts representing annualized revenue ranging between $4 million and $6 million with realized revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 totaling approximately $1 million; and
  • SG&A expenses related to SkyTouch are forecast to be approximately $21 million related to investment in business development, sales and marketing and continued software development expenditures related to the division's cloud-based hotel operating system technology and related products and services.

Discontinued Operations

  • Company EBITDA projections exclude the three company-owned Mainstay Suites hotels which generated EBITDA of approximately $1.1 million in 2013; and
  • Diluted EPS projections for the full-year 2014 include a gain on sale of the three company-owned Mainstay Suites hotels totaling $0.03 per share.

Consolidated Outlook

The company's third quarter 2014 diluted EPS is expected to be $0.62. The company expects full-year 2014 diluted EPS to range between $1.92 and $1.96. Consolidated EBITDA for full-year 2014 are expected to range between $211 million and $214 million.

Items Impacting Comparability

We reported on August 5, 2014 that the company changed its accounting for royalty and certain marketing and reservation fees in order to comply with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("GAAP") by reporting these fees in the same period that the underlying gross room revenues are earned by our franchisees rather than one month in arrears (our historical practice).

We believe that this change in the timing of our revenue recognition for these fees will make it easier for analysts and investors to compare our results to other lodging companies.

The financial results and supplemental operating information as of and for the periods ended June 30, 2014 have been prepared in accordance with the new accounting practice.

As a result of this change, the income statement and cash flow statement included herein for the periods ended June 30, 2013 have been preliminarily restated based on currently available information to reflect our new accounting practice for these fees. The company plans to file the restated quarterly financial statements as soon as administratively possible. Until the restatement is complete, additional information may become available which could cause the company's current estimates to change.

Due to the seasonality of the company's business, the impact of the new revenue recognition practice will generally be positive for the first two quarters of the year and negative in the final two quarters of the year. However, this change is expected to result in immaterial positive revisions to total revenues, operating income and earnings per share for the full years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011. The company plans to file the revised annual financial statements in an amended Annual Report on Form 10-K. The December 31, 2013 balance sheet included in Exhibit 2 has been preliminarily revised to reflect this change.

More information about this accounting change and restatement can be found in the Company's Form 8-K filed on August 5, 2014.

To view all tables corresponding to this release please visit:

http://media.choicehotels.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=217856&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1957041&highlight=

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,300 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 35 other countries and territories. As of June 30, 2014, 423 hotels, representing more than 32,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 93 hotels, representing approximately 8,300 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Hotel & Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.

SkyTouch Technology is a division of Choice Hotels International, Inc. that develops and markets cloud-based technology products, including inventory management, pricing and connectivity to third party channels, to hoteliers not under franchise agreements with the company.

Additional corporate information can be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.

Contact: David White, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

(301) 592-5117

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