Marriott International, Inc.
today reported record diluted earnings per share from continuing
operations of $2.47 in 2004, up 27 percent from 2003. Income from
continuing operations, net of taxes, for the year was $594 million, a 25
percent increase over 2003 levels. In 2003 the company recorded the receipt of a $36 million insurance
payment for lost revenue related to the loss of the World Trade Center
hotel on September 11, 2001. Adjusting for this one-time payment the
company’s 2004 EPS increased 34 percent.
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott
International, said, “We are delighted to report all-time record earnings
for 2004. After three years of unprecedented challenges, the travel
industry is booming, especially in the United States and Asia, as people
travel again for business and pleasure. Demand was solid in all customer
segments during 2004. Strong corporate demand increased midweek transient
REVPAR in most markets and brands. For our full-service hotels, group
business strengthened substantially. Compared to 2003, meeting planners
booked more meetings and booked them at higher rates. Further, attendance
for meetings that took place in 2004 was better than expected. Across the
board, average daily rates strengthened significantly, especially late in
2004. Strong rate increases were reported in New York, Washington D.C. and
Florida in the fourth quarter.
“Just as our industry is enjoying a new revitalization, so is our company.
We opened 166 new hotels (27,000 rooms) during 2004 in exciting locations
like China, Belgium and Italy. Marriott brands are still the best and most
preferred in the industry. As we continue to reinvent and refresh our
designs and services, and offer exciting new hotels and experiences, our
brands just get better and better. Our brands are more attuned than ever
to our guests’ needs, from Fairfield Inn to The Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari,
our newest brand, and are getting rave reviews.
“Marriott’s business model continues to leverage our strong brands, which
attracts owners and franchisees and allows us to grow and improve our
products while minimizing our capital investments. As a result, even
during the recent economic decline we were able to add new units and
improve our brands, as well as return cash to shareholders through an
aggressive share repurchase program.
“Although 2004 was a spectacular year for the company, we are even more
optimistic and enthusiastic about the future. We currently have more than
55,000 rooms in our development pipeline and expect to add 25,000 to
30,000 hotel rooms and timeshare units to our system in 2005. With
increasing room rate momentum, outstanding service quality, continuing
product enhancements, global expansion and strong interest in our
timeshare business, 2005 should be another record earnings year,”
continued Mr. Marriott.