Hotel giant Marriott International has reported positive results for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, highlighting growth in both the number of rooms and overall revenue.

Its revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key metric for the hospitality industry, increased by 4.2% globally. This growth was driven by gains in both occupancy rates and average daily room rates.

International markets performed particularly well, experiencing an 11.1% increase in RevPAR.

Marriott also expanded its room portfolio significantly, adding 46,000 rooms in Q1. This growth was bolstered by the addition of 37,000 rooms through its agreement with MGM Resorts International.

The company’s development pipeline remains strong, with more than 3,400 properties and 547,000 rooms planned globally. Construction is already underway on more than 202,000 rooms within the pipeline, demonstrating Marriott’s continued investment in growth.

Marriott’s earnings per share (EPS), adjusted for non-recurring items, came in at $2.13, slightly exceeding analysts’ expectations.

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The company is committed to returning value to shareholders. In Q1, it repurchased 4.8m shares of common stock for $1.2bn and expects to return between $4.2bn and $4.4bn to shareholders in 2024 through a combination of dividends and share repurchases.

Market performance varied by region. The US and Canada saw a more moderate RevPAR increase of 1.5%, with the group travel segment the strongest performer, experiencing a nearly 5% year-on-year increase. International markets, particularly Asia Pacific excluding China, witnessed significant growth with a RevPAR increase of almost 17%.

Marriott highlighted several strategic initiatives in its report. The company recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of Marriott Bonvoy, its loyalty programme, which now has more than 203 million members worldwide.

It also launched the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, adding almost 37,000 rooms and experiencing positive initial booking trends and strong loyalty programme participation.

Financially, Marriott’s adjusted operating income reached $952m, compared to $941m in Q1 2023.

Its adjusted net income totalled $620m, slightly lower than the previous year’s $648m.

Adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation] grew to $1,142m compared to $1,098m in Q1 2023.

Looking ahead, Marriott increased its full-year earnings guidance and remains confident in the strength of its asset-light business model and its global brands.