updated 3/28/2011 5:17:51 PM ET 2011-03-28T21:17:51

BOSTON, March 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Nasdaq:SNSTA) today reported a net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 of $900,000, or $(0.25) per share, compared to net income of $219,000, or $0.06 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2009. Revenues, excluding "other revenues from managed and affiliated properties", were $19,906,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $16,341,000 in the same period in 2009.

The net loss for the year 2010 was $2,024,000, or $(0.55) per share, compared to net income of $25,277,000, or $6.84 per share, in 2009. Revenues, excluding "other revenues from managed and affiliated properties", were $71,544,000 in 2010, compared to $60,458,000 in 2009. The Company reported an operating loss of $1,424,000 in 2010, compared to an operating loss of $951,000 in 2009.

Fourth quarter 2010 revenues increased primarily due to higher revenues from Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans and higher fee income from management activities. The 2010 fourth quarter also included revenues from Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut Grove. The Company has operated this condominium hotel under a management agreement since its opening in 2002, and acquired the hotel on July 1, 2010. The decrease in earnings in the 2010 fourth quarter compared to the previous year resulted from higher operating costs at the Company's hotels in Boston and New Orleans, losses from Sonesta Bayfront Coconut Grove (which were in line with expectations), higher rent expense related to our New Orleans property, as well as higher corporate administrative and general expenses. These costs included a provision for potential bad debt of $1,033,000 related to the Company's managed hotels in Egypt and licensed hotels in Brazil. 

Included in the 2009 results was a pre-tax gain of $41,843,000 related to the dissolution of a development partnership, in which the Company owned a 50% limited partnership interest. The partnership sold its assets, comprising the former Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne, in September 2009.

For full details on our results for the year and the fourth quarter, please refer to our 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K which was filed on March 28, 2011. This report may be accessed through our website, Sonesta.com.

Sonesta's stock is traded on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol SNSTA.

The Sonesta International Hotels Corporation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7017

SONESTA INTERNATIONAL HOTELS CORPORATION
         
Financial Summary        
         
(000 omitted except for per share data)    
  Three months ended

December 31
Year ended

December 31
  2010 2009 2010 2009
         
Operating revenues $19,906 $16,341 $71,544 $60,458
Other revenues from managed and affiliated properties 121 1,013 3,140 4,361
Total revenues 20,027 17,354 74,684 64,819
         
Costs and expenses, including depreciation and amortization (21,321) (15,403) (72,968) (61,409)
Other expenses from managed and affiliated properties (121) (1,013) (3,140) (4,361)
Total expenses (21,442) (16,416) (76,108) (65,770)
         
Operating income (loss)  (1,415) 938 (1,424) (951)
         
Other income (deductions):        
Interest expense (729) (713) (2,479) (2,865)
Interest income 66 70 261 402
Gain on sales of assets and dissolution of development partnership 185 1 125 41,875
Foreign exchange loss (9) (1) (15) (16)
  (487) (643) (2,108) 39,396
         
Income (loss) before income taxes (1,902) 295 (3,532) 38,445
         
Federal, foreign and state income tax expense (benefit) (1,002) 76 (1,508) 13,168
         
Net income (loss) ($900) $219 ($2,024) $25,277
         
         
Income (loss) per share of common stock ($0.25) $0.06 ($0.55) $6.84
         
Average number of common shares outstanding 3,698 3,698 3,698 3,698
CONTACT: Boy van Riel
         Sonesta International Hotels Corporation
         (617) 421-5444

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