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ATLANTA-Locally based Lodgian Inc. posted a 1% decline in third-quarter revenue from the same period last year, at $61.4 million, while EBITDA improved nearly 7% over the year to $10.4 million. The company’s 35 continuing operations hotels also experienced a slight decline in revenue per available room, ending the quarter at $76.24.

“The current turmoil in the United States economy is having a profound impact on the industry in general, as both corporate and leisure travelers tighten their belts and reduce operating budgets,” Peter Cyrus, Lodgian interim president and CEO, stated in a release. He added that its hotels fared better than competitors in their respective markets.

Lodgian is a major independent owner-operator of full-service hotels, with a portfolio of 42 properties totaling 7,800 rooms in 23 states and Canada. The company sold a former Holiday Inn in Marietta, GA for $3.3 million during the third quarter and has eight other properties on the market.

As of Sept. 30, Lodgian had 36 hotels encumbered as collateral for mortgage debt totaling $341 million. It is working with a mortgage banker to look for ways to retain flexibility, maximize proceeds and keep its debt cost as low as possible, said James MacLennan, Lodgian executive VP and CFO.

Meanwhile, the company bought 382,000 shares of its own common stock for approximately $3 million, or $7.74 per share, during the third quarter as part of a $10-million buyback plan ending in April 2009. Lodgian has acquired at least 15% of its common stock for a total cost of $39.1 million since the repurchase program began in May 2006.

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