Marriott International, Inc. (MAR / NYSE) today reported diluted earnings per share of 38 cents for its 1999 first quarter ended March 26, an increase of 15 percent over 33 cents in the corresponding 1998 quarter.
Net income for the 1999 first quarter was $100 million, up 12 percent from $89 million in the preceding year. Sales were $1.9 billion, an increase of 10 percent versus the 1998 first quarter.
First quarter profit comparisons are affected by costs of the company`s Year 2000 readiness efforts, and preopening expenses associated with new senior living communities. Excluding the impact of these items, diluted earnings per share increased 18 percent in the 1999 first quarter.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said that the company`s strong first quarter performance was paced by its North American lodging operations.
“Our full-service and luxury hotel brands posted their biggest occupancy gains in nearly three years,” Mr. Marriott noted. “In addition, our distribution services and senior living services businesses both contributed to first quarter profit growth.
“We are off to a very good start in 1999,” Mr. Marriott added, “and we are optimistic about the company`s prospects for the balance of the year. Our U.S. businesses are performing well, the outlook for our international lodging operations is improving, and our growth strategy is on track.”