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Strong business travel demand has helped Marriott International to increase profits by 26 per cent as occupancy rates have returned to pre-recession levels in the US.
The hotel firm made a pre-tax profit of $263 million for the three months to the end of June, as revenue rose by 18 per cent to $3.26 billion during the quarter.
Marriott’s pre-tax profits for the first six months of 2013 rose by 30 per cent to $464 million on the back of a revenue increase of 20 per cent to $6.4 billion.
Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, said: “We were pleased with our second quarter results and believe they reflect the core strength of our business model.
“Modest economic growth combined with historically low supply increases in the industry helped us post 5.2 per cent systemwide revpar growth in North America.
“Both business and leisure transient demand were strong in the quarter, more than offsetting weak short-term group business. As occupancy rates reach 2007 peak levels for many brands, room rates are moving higher, improving hotel profitability and incentive fees.”
Marriott added 6,200 rooms to its portfolio during the quarter including 1,600 from competitors and 1,500 rooms outside North America.
The company also has 140,000 rooms in its development pipeline with 68,000 of these outside of the US and Canada.
“Earlier this year, we announced that we would be importing our popular lifestyle brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the US,” said Sorenson. “We also introduced MOXY, a new European economy-tier brand concept.
"Our worldwide development pipeline increased again this quarter to more than 140,000 rooms under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development, as new signings accelerated in international markets. In fact, nearly three-quarters of the increase in the pipeline came from international markets, particularly Asia."