Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr, Chairman and CEO, rung the closing bell yesterday at the New York Stock Exchange. Founded by his parents, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, as a nine-seat root-beer stand in Washington, D.C., Marriott has grown to become the world`s leading hospitality company with nearly 2,600 properties in 65 countries and 142,000 employees.
“Our 75th anniversary is a time to thank each and every one of our employees, guests, investors, and hotel owners and franchisees who have made this milestone possible,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO. “Now the focus is on the future. The lodging and travel industry offers tremendous opportunity over the long-term and we are ready for the next 75 years and beyond.”
Hosting millions of guests each year, Marriott International is widely recognized as a world-class consumer brand with a portfolio of 21 brands and businesses such as Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Resorts and Suites, Residence Inn, Courtyard and Fairfield Inn. Marriott also operates vacation ownership resorts under Marriott Vacation Club International, and is a leader in senior living communities with the Brighton Gardens and MapleRidge brands.
In the past decade, Marriott`s U.S. lodging market share has grown from approximately 4.5 percent to 8 percent. Going forward, long-term growth prospects remain strong—particularly overseas where Marriott has only 1 percent of the international market. In fact, nearly 25 percent of the hotel rooms in Marriott`s development pipeline are outside of the United States.
Reflecting on a difficult economy last year and the unprecedented impact of September 11, Mr. Marriott said, “Even though individual business travel is still soft, we anticipate strong leisure business this summer and plan to announce great vacation rates in the coming weeks.” Mr. Marriott added, “Given that the lodging industry typically trails an economic recovery by three to six months, we continue to expect the measure of profitability for hotels—domestic comparable RevPar (revenue per available room)—to decline in the second quarter of 2002 by 5 to 7 percent, which is consistent with earlier guidance, although at the less favorable end of the range.”
The company noted that hotel operating margins remain strong and that second quarter pretax earnings (before the impact of the synthetic fuel business segment) are expected to meet prior guidance. However, the company`s synthetic fuel operation is producing at full capacity and should provide some upside to the second quarter`s results.