Carlson Reports Stable 2012 Performance Despite Continued Economic Pressures; Innovation And Strategic Investments Key To Future Growth

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The global hospitality and travel company today reported system wide revenues of $37.6 billion.

Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, today reported system wide revenues of $37.6 billion, which is flat to 2011. As Carlson enters its 75th year in business, the Company delivered stable revenue performance across its businesses despite continued global economic pressures.

“As we begin the fourth year of Ambition 2015, I’m encouraged at the progress we have made,” said Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer, Carlson. “We have strengthened our sales and revenue generation activities to enhance performance, and we have improved the guest experience through innovations in each of our core businesses. Moving forward, we will continue to strategically invest in our brands and businesses to ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of Carlson.”

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) continues to be the world’s largest travel management company, recording steady performance for its business travel activities in 2012, and significant growth in specialized areas, including CWT Meetings & Events and CWT Energy Services. New business sales in 2012 reached $1.7 billion, while overall sales volume fell by 1.1% to $27.7 billion1 compared to $28.0 billion in 2011.

CWT saw most of its growth in Latin America, where transactions increased by 21% year over year. Transactions in North America, a significant market for CWT, increased by 2.3%, mirroring a more favorable economic environment.

Other notable progress in 2012 included the acquisition of WorldMate, a leader in mobile travel technology, advancing CWT’s mobile strategy.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group reported system wide revenues of $7.2 billion, a 2.9% increase over 2011. The results reflect positive growth in Revenue Generation Index (RGI).

In 2012, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group signed 68 hotels with nearly 13,000 rooms. Sixty percent of the new hotels signed are in emerging markets. The global portfolio has 1,305 hotels in operation and under development. Number of rooms in operation and under development remains nearly flat to the previous year, with 207,540 at the end of 2012, compared to 208,546 at the end of 2011.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is making solid progress on its asset light strategy, with the sale of its ownership stake in the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago.

Radisson Blu continues to grow globally with the addition of 33 hotels, for a total portfolio of 272 at the end of 2012, with an additional 21 hotels to be added in 2013, including the highly-anticipated Radisson Blu Mall of America which opened on March 15. Other key destinations include Radisson Blu Beach Resort & Spa, Sochi, Russia; Radisson Blu Chonqing Sha Ping Ba, China; Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahit, India; Radisson Blu Hotel Kolkata Hastings, India; Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson Librevile, Gabon, Africa; and the Radisson Blu Hotel Mysore, India.

T.G.I.Friday’s reported system wide revenue of $2.7 billion, a 5% increase over 2011’s $2.6 billion. Worldwide, 45 new restaurants were opened, with strong international growth in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Friday’s now has 926 restaurants in operation globally. The brand continues to focus on defining and differentiating the customer experience, with plans to open 75 new stores in 2013 and re-image 80 Friday’s restaurants. The new restaurant prototype features a fresh, contemporary design that elevates the bar experience, making it the center of activity and unleashing the fun, engaging corner bar vibe that retains the brand’s nearly 50-year heritage. In addition, Friday’s is constantly updating its menu with food and beverage items that appeal to Friday’s fans, including the introduction of new shareable food items and exciting drinks that are made from scratch by the best bartenders in the business. At the end of 2013, Friday’s expects to have 976 stores in operation.

Outlook for 2013 and Beyond Ambition 2015

“Carlson’s outlook for the remainder of 2013 is one of measured optimism. We’ll continue to grow and invest in regions where we have the right partners and opportunities already in the pipeline, particularly Asia Pacific, but we’re proceeding more cautiously in Europe -- where the economic headwinds continue to challenge our businesses,” said Rautio.

Rautio added, “Looking beyond Ambition 2015, we remain judicious with a continued focus on performance. Our ability to maintain liquidity and a strong balance sheet remains an important consideration for us. However, we are looking for strategic growth opportunities in each of our core businesses. For Carlson overall, innovation will be a key factor in attaining our return on equity targets and ensuring the long-term growth and stability of our underlying businesses.”

About Carlson
Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group includes more than 1,300 hotels in operation and development, including, Radisson Blu, Radisson®, Park Plaza®; Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Hotel Missoni; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 160 countries and territories and its brands employ more than 175,000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit Carlson’s website:

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Heather Faulkner
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