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Hotel chain cites market downturn
Marriott International reported a $10m (€7.8m) loss from continuing operations for the last three months of 2008.
The figure compares with a $236m (€183.3m) surplus for the same quarter in 2007.
The group, which has 3,100 properties worldwide, said it expected the business environment to remain "unpredictable" and was unable to give guidance for 2009.
Marriott said adjusted income for the three months to the end of December was $121m (€94m), a drop of 49% compared with the same period in 2007.
But this figure included $192m (€149.1m) spent on re-structuring and charges resulting from the "significant" decline in demand.
There was also a further $55m (€42.7m) spent on items including severance pay for staff.
J. W. Marriott, the hotel chain's chairman and ceo, said the result reflected the "impact of the economic disruption to our business."
He said the company's priorities were straightforward: to focus on driving higher market share, including through new rooms, improve cash flow and reduce costs.
"While none of these tasks will ever be fully complete, we can see that our approach is working," he said.
Mr Marriott said that during 2008, the chain added 26,000 new rooms and planned to add a similar number in 2009.
But while Marriott increased its market share during the year, it also saw its revPAR (revenue per available room) fall by 8%.
During 2008, the company had implemented $100m (€77.7m) in cuts and also aimed to cut its investment spending in 2009 by $400m (€310.7m).