by Michael J. Shapiro | November 03, 2017
Although Hyatt Hotels executives remain optimistic for the company's full-year performance for 2017, some metrics took a hit in the third quarter, the company reported yesterday in its quarterly earnings report. U.S. group demand was hit specifically by natural disasters, as well as the timing of the Jewish holidays, when compared to third-quarter 2016 performance. Group rooms revenue in the U.S. full-service properties was down 6.6 percent year-over-year, while room nights dropped by 8 percent. Group average daily rate, however, increased by 1.5 percent over last year.

On the plus side, transient rooms revenue at U.S. full-service properties was up by 1.5 percent, while room nights jumped by 2.9 percent. Transient ADR actually dropped by 1.3 percent, however.

That said, Hyatt president and CEO Mark Hoplamazian praised the company's solid systemwide RevPAR growth. It was up 1.6 percent overall; excluding the impacts of the Jewish holiday timing and natural disasters, systemwide RevPAR grew by 2.6 percent.

In Greater China, RevPAR growth was particularly strong, driving up regional RevPAR by 6.3 percent for the quarter. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia, a solid RevPAR increase of 3.5 percent was due to strong performance in Western Europe and Turkey.

"Our third quarter results reflect continued, upward momentum in our business," Hoplamazaian said. "We continue to have sustained growth in our base of hotel rooms and remain on track for a record number of hotel openings in 2017."

Hyatt expects to open 60 hotels this year. The company has raised its full-year expectations for systemwide RevPAR growth to 2.5 to 3 percent (up from the previous expectation of 1 to 3 percent), and likewise has increased its expectations for net income and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization).

Hyatt is pursuing an asset-light strategy and expects to sell about $1.5 billion of real estate over the next three years, Hoplamazian added.