Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) today reported record full year earnings of $1.89 per share, up 25 percent from $1.51 for the full year 1999. Net income for the year increased to $479 million in 2000, up 20 percent from 1999. Sales increased 15 percent to $10 billion in 2000. Adjusted for non-recurring charges related to the settlement of litigation in 1999 and the Marriott Distribution Services business in 2000, EPS increased 20 percent to $1.92 in 2000, up from $1.60 in 1999. Strength in U.S. lodging operations was the primary driver of profit growth in 2000.
The company reported earnings per share of $0.59 for its fourth quarter ended December 29, 2000, up 74 percent from $0.34 in the fourth quarter of 1999. Net income increased to $149 million in the 2000 fourth quarter, up from $90 million in 1999. Sales totaled $3.2 billion in the 2000 fourth quarter, up 12 percent from $2.8 billion a year ago.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said that he was very pleased with the company`s fourth quarter operating results. “The fourth quarter put the finishing touches on an outstanding year for our company. Our earnings growth reflected our focus on increasing distribution of our products in both the U.S. and around the world, as well as success in translating that growth to the bottom line. Comparable Revenue per Available Room (REVPAR) growth in our domestic lodging brands overall was up a strong 6.7 percent for the full year in 2000. Our Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites, Renaissance and Residence Inn brands in the U.S. each showed one full percentage point improvement in house profit margin in the fourth quarter.
He noted, “We added a record number of new rooms to our system during the year. Importantly, nearly 30 percent of these room openings represented conversions to our brands, demonstrating owners` and franchisees` preferences to be part of our worldwide lodging family. At year-end, even after opening 17,000 rooms in the fourth quarter, our lodging pipeline was slightly over 70,000 rooms. We continue to gain market share worldwide.
We are optimistic about our prospects, Mr. Marriott continued. Although we expect domestic REVPAR growth to moderate this year in light of a slowing U.S. economy, we continue to expect REVPAR growth to be healthy, at around three to four percent.
We expect to perform well in 2001, said William J. Shaw, president and chief operating officer. We have the brands preferred by travelers and hotel owners, as well as a talented, enthusiastic work force dedicated to customer service. Our worldwide reservations system, frequent guest program (Marriott Rewards), and Internet site (Marriott.com) are among the best in the hotel industry, and our abundant cash flow enables us to invest significant capital in expanding our businesses and building our brands.”