World Cup bump helps push Marriott to healthy Q2

Things were good for Marriott International in the second quarter. The Bethesda, Md.-based hotel operator said earnings rose 7.3 percent on an increase in revenue and on stronger average daily room rates. Net income was $192 million for the quarter compared to $179 million a year prior.

Worldwide comparable revenue per available room rose 5.8 percent and average daily rates increased 3.5 percent.

Marriott said it added 162 new properties during the quarter, bringing its total worldwide hotel business to nearly 4,100 properties.

"Results in the quarter exceeded our expectations," said Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International. "With strong franchisee and owner demand for our brands, we are on pace to have another record development year in 2014 with contracts for roughly 295 hotels with nearly 46,000 rooms already signed, or nearly a dozen hotels per week, and well ahead of our 2013 first half signings pace. At the end of the second quarter, our development pipeline reached a record 215,000 rooms.

"We are bullish on the remainder of 2014. The strong RevPAR growth in the second quarter combined with very strong group bookings for the third quarter give us the confidence to increase our full year 2014 North American and worldwide RevPAR growth guidance to 5 to 7 percent. We are also increasing our expectations for gross room additions to 7 percent, 6 percent net, based on strong development interest in our brands."

While the World Cup may have ended on a sour note for the U.S. Men's National Team, not so for Marriott, as Laura Paugh, SVP of investor relations for Marriott, explained. "The World Cup was a big help, as was resort demand in the Caribbean and in Mexico," she said, and as reported by The Washington Post.

In North America, comparable systemwide RevPAR increased 6 percent in the second quarter, including a 3.7-percent increase in average daily rate. RevPAR for comparable systemwide North American full-service hotels (including Marriott hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Gaylord Hotels and Autograph Collection hotels) increased 5.3 percent with a 3.5-percent increase in average daily rate. RevPAR for comparable systemwide North American limited-service hotels (including Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites) increased 6.8 percent in the second quarter with a 4.1-percent increase in average daily rate.

Revenue totaled nearly $3.5 billion in the 2014 second quarter compared to revenues of approximately $3.3 billion for the second quarter of 2013.

Other hotel companies and REITs to have already reported their second quarters include Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Wyndham Hotel Group, LaSalle Hotel Properties and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.

Hilton Worldwide will report its second-quarter earnings August 1. Hyatt Hotels Corp. will do the same on July 31.