Restructuring costs hit Q4 results

 Wyndham Worldwide has reported a net loss of US$1.4bn (€1.1bn) for the fourth quarter 2008.

Wyndham, whose franchised brands include Ramada Worldwide, Travelodge and AmeriHost Inn, blamed a US$1.3bn (€1bn) “goodwill impairment charge” relating to “adverse financial markets.”

A further loss of US$45m (€35.8m) was incurred as a result of “restructuring costs” and US$24m (€19.1m) from unfavourable currency conversion following the transfer of cash from Wyndham’s Venezuela operations.

“There are several special items in the fourth quarter results for 2008, including a goodwill impairment charge, restructuring costs and foreign currency conversion losses,” said Wyndham’s chairman and ceo Stephen Holmes.

“If you remove those items, Wyndham Worldwide produced operating income growth in the fourth quarter and full year 2008.

“These positive operating results reflect our resilient business model and proactive efforts by the management team to reduce costs, improve productivity and grow market share.”

Wyndham said a Q4 decline in revenue year-on-year of 12% to US$911m (€724.6m) was due to a strengthening dollar, reduced vacation ownership business and increased loan loss provision.

But adjusted net income, excluding “special items”, was reported as US$84m (€66.8m), up from US$83m (€66m) in 2007.

Stephen Holmes

Full year revenue was US$4.3bn (€3.4bn) “essentially flat” compared to 2007 despite a global slowdown in travel.

Wyndham said its guidance for 2009 was subject to “higher than normal levels of uncertainty” given “disruptions in the global economy and capital markets.”

“If economic conditions improve or deteriorate materially from current levels, these assumptions and our guidance may change materially,” Wyndham said in a statement.

Guidance for Q1 2009 includes adjusted earnings per share of $0.35-$0.40, revenues of US$3.5-US$3.9bn and an adjusted net income of US$289m-US$331m.

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