Marriott International, Inc. (MAR / NYSE) today reported diluted earnings per share of $1.46 for its 1998 fiscal year ended Jan. 1, 1999, an increase of 23 percent over $1.19 in 1997. Net income rose 20 percent to $390 million in 1998, and sales totaled $8.0 billion, up 10 percent from $7.2 billion a year ago.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said the company`s strong performance in 1998 was paced by its U.S. lodging operations.
“Our brands significantly outperformed the lodging industry averages in both occupancy and REVPAR growth in 1998,” Mr. Marriott said. “The company`s distribution services business also posted sharply higher profits for the year, and our senior living operations generated solid gains after adjustment for the impact of property ownership changes.
“In addition to achieving our profitability objectives in 1998, Marriott International made excellent progress toward its long-range growth goals,” Mr. Marriott added. “We opened a record number of new hotels and senior living communities during the year, expanded our worldwide pipeline of lodging properties under development, and introduced several exciting new product lines.
“Our future prospects are very bright,” Mr. Marriott continued. “We anticipate another impressive performance in 1999 from our U.S. lodging operations, although overall profit growth for the company will be tempered somewhat by the impact of year 2000-related costs. Our strong balance sheet and substantial investment capacity put us among the companies best positioned to take advantage of major growth opportunities in the hospitality industry.”
Mr. Marriott noted that the company`s planned acquisition of ExecuStay Corporation, a leading provider of temporary corporate housing, is proceeding on schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of the 1999 first quarter.
For the 1998 fourth quarter, Marriott International reported net income of $114 million and diluted earnings per share of 44 cents, up 18 percent and 22 percent, respectively, over prior year results. Sales totaled $2.5 billion, a gain of 10 percent compared to the 1997 fourth quarter.
In the 1998 fourth quarter, Marriott International changed its accounting for hotels and senior living communities managed by the company, and no longer includes sales of these properties in its consolidated financial statements. Reported sales now include management fees earned and costs reimbursed to the company by owners of its managed properties. Results for prior periods have been restated to reflect this change in accounting policy, which had no impact on the company`s operating profit, net income or earnings per share.