It was a good year for Supertel Hospitality. Actually, it's been a good couple of years.
Ever since the publicly traded real estate investment trust was reorganized in 2004 - with its headquarters brought back to Norfolk - the results have been impressive.
"I am particularly happy as I review . . . our significant events over the past year - ones we believe are overwhelmingly positive for our company and our shareholders," said Paul Schulte, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the company.
Supertel owns and manages limited-service motels - that typically means there are no restaurants part of the motels - in more than 20 states.
At Supertel's recent annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Schulte shared key positive indicators, including:
- 2006 saw a 27 percent increase in revenues, 34 percent increase in earnings, 16 percent increase in funds for operations and a 50 percent increase in dividend payments from the previous year.
- Comparing 2004 totals to 2006, net earnings have increase from $1.97 million to $2.5 million and funds for operations have gone up from $12 million to $14.9 million.
- Since August 2004, 53 new lodging properties have been acquired for a total cost of about $205 million.
- Also since 2004, quarterly dividends have increased from 5 cents per share to about 11 cents per share.
- Once the most recent acquisitions have closed, Supertel will own 122 properties representing 10,650 rooms.
- Annual payroll for the trust and the company that manages the properties has increased by $1.5 million in recent years.
What's ahead for the company? Schulte said Supertel plans to pursue a "controlled growth acquisition" strategy as opportunities arise. Aiding that was the sale of 7.5 million shares of common stock in the trust in 2006 because the money raised increased the trust's capacity for new properties, he said.
"We have an experienced management team, proven acquisition capability and growth-oriented capital structure," Schulte said. "We will continue to leverage efficiencies for cost control, while striving to increase occupancy rates and average daily rate. Most importantly, we will not waver from our commitment of providing clean, friendly and affordable accommodations, which is what ultimately brings guests back to our properties."