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Marriott expects 1 million rooms by end of 2015

Bethesda-based hotel company reports profit growth in 4th quarter

Marriott International Inc. reported a 30 percent growth in profits in the fourth quarter of 2014, with a net income of $197 million compared to $151 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Earnings per share jumped 39 percent over prior-year results, growing from 49 cents per share to 68 cents per share. The Bethesda-based hotel company exceeded its projection of 62 cents to 66 cents per share for the fourth quarter.

Marriott drew in $13.8 billion in revenues for 2014, up 8 percent from $12.7 billion in 2013. Revenues for the fourth quarter totaled nearly $3.6 billion, compared with $3.2 billion for the same period in 2013. Net income grew 20 percent, from $626 million to $753 million.

Arne M. Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the company’s unit growth and earnings were both record-breaking. Marriott signed agreements for 100,000 rooms in 2014, and the company’s system reached nearly 715,000 rooms in 79 countries and territories. Sorenson said he expects 1 million rooms will be open or under development “well before” the end of the year.

Among the 70 new properties added in the fourth quarter – representing 14,605 rooms – were a hotel in Miami Beach and a Ritz-Carlton in Bali, while 22 properties left the system during that time.

Sorenson said Marriott’s international hotels performed well in the fourth quarter, citing strong leisure demand in the Caribbean and Mexico, good weather in Europe and increased travel to Egypt.