Marriott's Q3 2014 results show development pipeline 1,300 properties deep

Marriott International released its third quarter results for 2014, reporting a net income of $192 million, a 20 percent increase over Q3 2013. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) totaled $0.65, a further 25 percent increase from the same period last year and above the EPS forecasted by the company earlier this year ($0.59 to $0.63).

Arne M. Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said in the report that the company's performance can be traced to stronger than expected RevPAR and margin growth, where North American RevPAR rose nearly 9 percent system wide. Additionally, occupancy reached 77.6 percent while room rates rose 5 percent.

Marriott's RevPAR for worldwide comparable system-wide properties was up 8.1 percent for Q3 2014, while the company's North American system-wide RevPAR increased 8.7 percent. This included a 5.0 percent increase in average daily rate (ADR). 

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Marriott's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled $393 million in the quarter, a 19 percent increase over third quarter 2013 adjusted EBITDA. Additionally, Marriott's revenues totaled nearly $3.5 billion in Q3 2014, up from nearly $3.2 billion in Q3 2013.

Marriott also expanded its inventory by adding 49 new properties (6,891 rooms) to its worldwide loading portfolio in Q3 2014. Seven properties exited its system during the quarter for a total of 1,279 rooms. Additionally, Marriott's development pipeline increased to over 1,300 properties with nearly 225,000 rooms by the end of the quarters. This includes 255 properties with approximately 37,000 rooms approved for development, but not yet subject to signed contracts.

At the quarter's end, the company's lodging group encompassed 4,127 properties and timeshare resorts for over 702,000 rooms. 

The company's strong development pipeline was substantiated in early December, when Marriott announced its plans to open 1,300 new hotels worth 200,000 new rooms by 2017. That would mean six hotels opening every week on average through 2017, and would bring Marriott's worldwide portfolio to 5,000 hotels in 100 countries.

This pipeline was set in motion nearly one year ago when Marriott pledged to open 12 new India hotels by 2015, and then 20 new properties in Mexico by 2016. In April of this year, Marriott also announced a plan to open 30 new South Africa hotels by 2020, spending $190 million to buy Protea Hotels, the largest hotel company on the continent, as part of its push in the region.

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