Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) today reported that its diluted earnings per share increased five percent to 40 cents in its 2000 first quarter ended March 24, before the impact of a one-time charge in its distribution services business. Net income before the charge rose three percent to $103 million. Sales totaled $2.2 billion, an increase of 14 percent compared to the 1999 first quarter.
The company said that its 2000 first quarter net income was reduced by approximately $9.5 million as a result of the one-time write-off of a contract investment by its distribution services business. Reflecting the impact of this one-time charge, reported net income was $94 million in the 2000 quarter, compared to $100 million in the preceding year, and diluted earnings per share was 37 cents, versus 38 cents in the corresponding 1999 quarter.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said the company`s first quarter operating results were in line with expectations.
The lodging industry worldwide got off to a slow start in 2000, as many travelers stayed home in early January due to Y2K concerns, Mr. Marriott said. However, demand picked up steadily as the first quarter progressed, which bodes well for our lodging operations for the balance of the year.
We are on track to meet our new business development goals in 2000, Mr. Marriott continued. In the next few months, we will be opening our 2,000th hotel and our 150th senior living community. For the year, we expect to add 38,000 hotel rooms and timesharing villas to our worldwide lodging portfolio. In addition, our distribution services business recently has been awarded several major new accounts.