Marriott International, Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2014 results. “Today, we post both record earnings and unit growth and conclude 2014 with the strongest worldwide development pipeline of rooms in our history. Our powerful portfolio of brands has never been better positioned or more in demand by our owners, franchisees and guests” said Arne M. Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International.
Fourth quarter 2014 net income totaled $197 million, a 30 percent increase over 2013 net income. Fourth quarter 2014 diluted earnings per share (EPS) totaled $0.68, a 39 percent increase from 2013 diluted EPS. On October 28, 2014, the company forecasted fourth quarter diluted EPS of $0.62 to $0.66.
In 2014, we signed agreements for a record-breaking 100,000 rooms, boosting our development pipeline to nearly 240,000 rooms. At year-end, our system reached nearly 715,000 rooms in 79 countries and territories. With the strength of our portfolio, we expect to reach one million rooms open or under development well before the end of 2015, offering a growing number of travel opportunities for our 49 million loyal Rewards members.
“In the fourth quarter, our worldwide systemwide RevPAR increased more than 6 percent. In North America, business and leisure transient demand were strong, which drove limited-service systemwide RevPAR up 8 percent. We expect transient demand to remain strong. In fact, based on signings to date, we expect special corporate room rates across all our managed North American hotels will increase 5 to 6 percent in 2015.
“During the year, our calendar of group meeting business in North America favored the first three quarters of 2014, largely due to the timing of holidays. As expected, this tempered results at our full-service hotels during the fourth quarter, particularly at our largest convention hotels. We are seeing group business restrengthen for 2015. Group revenue bookings for our managed full-service hotels are up almost 5 percent for the full year 2015 and 6 percent in the first quarter alone.
“Our international hotels performed well in the fourth quarter. Strong leisure demand in the Caribbean and Mexico, good weather in Europe, increased travel to Egypt, and improving trends in India and Japan drove systemwide constant dollar RevPAR up nearly 5 percent. However, on an actual dollar basis, our international systemwide RevPAR increased only 0.5 percent. After hedges, the change in exchange rates reduced our income before taxes by $5 million in the fourth quarter and $23 million for the full year. The full year impact included $11 million related to the Venezuela devaluation earlier in 2014.
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