Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Apr 25, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day. And welcome to the Hersha Hospitality First Quarter 2018 Conference Call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions) Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Greg Costa, Manager of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Executive
Greg Costa

Thank you, Nicole, and good morning to everyone joining us today. Welcome to the Hersha Hospitality Trust first quarter 2018 conference call. Today's call will be based on the first quarter 2018 earnings release, which was distributed yesterday afternoon.

Prior to proceeding, I'd like to remind everyone that today's conference call may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, performance or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance or financial position. These factors are detailed within the Company's press release as well as within the Company's filings with the SEC.

With that, it is now my pleasure to turn the call over to Mr. Neil H. Shah, Hersha Hospitality Trust's President and Chief Operating Officer. Neil, you may begin.

Executive
Neil H. Shah

Great. Thanks, Greg. Good morning and thank you all for joining us on today's call. Joining me this morning are Jay H. Shah, our Chief Executive Officer; and Ashish Parikh, our Chief Financial Officer.

For the second quarter, we enjoyed better market conditions that resulted in robust operating performance for our portfolio. We are especially pleased by the results from our South Florida and Manhattan portfolios, which generated RevPAR growth of 20.3% and 7.1% respectively and grew EBITDA margins by 790 basis points and 120 basis points respectively. In South Florida, the market is benefiting from a combination of increased domestic and international leisure demand, along with less supply deliveries, while in New York City, strong demand fundamentals from business and leisure transient along with a robust forward pace is encouraging for the overall market and for our assets.

Although the positive momentum during the first quarter yielded growth in most of our core markets, significant renovations limited our portfolio-wide comparable RevPAR growth. If we exclude assets under renovation, our comparable portfolio experienced approximately 4.6% RevPAR growth in the first quarter, which showcases a more accurate view of the performance of our hotels during the quarter. In addition to our South Florida and New York clusters, our outperformance in the first quarter benefited from the continued ramp-up of our newly acquired assets.

The past two quarters have clearly shown the merits of our capital recycling efforts, as our most recently acquired hotels produced outstanding results in the fourth quarter and continued to ramp in the first quarter. Our six most recently acquired hotels yielded weighted average RevPAR growth of 13%, which follows 13.9% RevPAR growth for these assets in the fourth quarter. Margins at these hotels were also strong and grew by 335 basis points, benefiting from a combination of cost