Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) today reported that its diluted earnings per share increased 27 percent to 47 cents in its 2001 first quarter ended March 23. Net income rose 29 percent to $121 million. Systemwide sales totaled $4.7 billion, an increase of 11 percent compared to the 2000 first quarter. After adjusting for the 2000 first quarter one-time write-off of a contract investment by its distribution services business ($0.03 after-tax), 2001 first quarter earnings per share was up 17.5 percent.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said he was pleased with the company`s 2001 first quarter performance, which came in ahead of expectations, especially given the U.S. economic slowdown and the rapid escalation of energy costs across the U.S.
“REVPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) growth rates have clearly slowed in the U.S. during the first quarter as a result of weakness in the U.S. economy. We are taking decisive steps to meet today`s more challenging economic environment and are confident that our brands will continue to gain market share.
“We are also on track to meet our new business development goals in 2001,” Mr. Marriott continued. “We were pleased to see the strong list of hotel openings this quarter. Conversions from other hotel brands accounted for over 40 percent of the 11,500 room openings during the first quarter, reflecting owners` and franchisees` desire to have the best performing lodging brands in a tough economic environment. For the year, we continue to expect to add over 35,000
hotel rooms and timesharing villas to our worldwide lodging portfolio.”