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But shareholder earnings exceed forecast
Marriott International has reported a 29% drop in first quarter income to $87m.
But earnings per share (EPS), despite falling 27% to $0.24 year-on-year, was almost double Marriott's February guidance of $0.13 to $0.15.
J W Marriott Jr, Marriott's chairman and ceo, said: "Despite an almost 20% decline in revenue per available room for our worldwide company-operated hotels, our teams performed incredibly well to limit house profit margin declines ahead of our expectations.
"Our strong brands continue to drive significant revenue premiums compared to their competitors."
Adjusted results for the quarter ending March 31 exclude $129m of restructuring costs and other charges, the result of "continued soft lodging and timeshare demand".
Marriott said its reported loss stood at $23m, compared to the $122m in income for 2007.
"Not surprisingly, the lodging industry and Marriott International continue to feel the impact of the global economic downturn," Mr Marriott said.
"At the same time, however, we are finding new ways of controlling costs and driving revenue.
"Despite the downturn, we're moving ahead. The strength of our business model was apparent during the quarter, earning the company $256 million in total hotel management and franchise fees and generating $215 million in adjusted earnings before interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization."
Mr Marriott said general and administrative costs had been reduced by 16% and total debt had declined $152m.
Marriott plans to open more than 30,000 rooms this year, Mr Marriott confirmed. Last week the hotel group announced plans to open a Residence Inn property in Munich in 2011, the long stay brand's first appearance in Europe.
"With lower costs, strong brands, an extensive global hotel development pipeline, and a solid balance sheet, Marriott is well positioned for long-term success," he said.