PHILADELPHIA-Consolidated hotel revenues, which includes revenues of hotels held for sale, rose 86% to $22.9 million for locally based Hersha Hospitality Trust during the first quarter of this year. That compares with $13.9 million for the same quarter a year ago.

The rise was driven primarily by growth in room revenues and acquisitions. The REIT acquired 100% ownership in six properties and interests in another two during the quarter. RevPAR for the consolidated portfolio of 41 properties increased 20.5% year-over-year to $62.73. That was driven by a 12% increase in ADR to $97.89 and a 7.6% rise in occupancy to 64.1%. At the same time, gross operating profit margins rose to 36.7%, up from 30.3% in the same quarter of 2005.

Same store RevPAR, which encompasses 27 hotels, increased 10.2% to $63.30. The performance was driven by a 4.4% increase in ADR to $97.27 and a 5.6% increase in occupancy to 65.1%. During a conference call, Jay H. Shah, CEO, noted that first quarter “is our seasonally weakest quarter, given our concentration of hotels in the Northeast.”

He confirmed that the company will continue to focus on the Northeast. The Hersha board, he says, has approved the listing of the company’s Atlanta portfolio for sale in order to acquire and develop additional properties between Boston and Washington, DC. During the call, Ashish Parikh, CFO, said the estimated net value of the Atlanta properties is “in the $18-million to $20-million range, and the properties have debt of roughly $10 million.”

Of its continuing expansion in Boston, Shah said, “we’re encouraged by supply growth demand there. Its RevPAR growth is some of the strongest in our portfolio.” The company anticipates investing up to $125 million in acquisitions and development loans this year. Of that, the majority, approximately two-thirds, will be in acquisitions, according to Parikh.

Meanwhile, Hersha netted approximately $63.5 million from its public offering of 977,500 shares of common stock. The closing of the over-allotment occurred on May 9, which contributed about $8.3 million to the total proceeds after underwriting discounts and commissions.

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