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Marriott warns on outlook as profits rebound

Marriott International posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit yesterday but said it would be difficult to predict the pace of recovery for the hotel industry, which has been hurt by tepid business travel.

Business travel is an important step to recovery for Marriott , which relies heavily on corporate demand to help set room rates. Although business travel has improved in recent months, it still remains below the levels of 2008 and earlier.

Although Marriott’s fourth-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations, share reaction was muted following a run-up in the stock in the past year. The company’s outlook was roughly in line with expectations.

The largest US hotel company by market value reported income from continuing operations of $106m (£67.6m) or 28 cents per share compared with a year-earlier loss of $10m or three cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, profit was 32 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected 26 cents,
according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue fell to $3.4bn from $3.8bn.

RevPAR, how much the firm makes per room, across the company’s hotels worldwide was down 12.3 per cent in the fourth quarter.