Marriott Profit Jumps on Business Travel

Marriott International Inc. (MAR), the largest U.S. hotel operator, on Thursday said third-quarter profit rose 45 percent as business travel continued to perk up after three years of stagnation.

The company said net income rose to $133 million, or 55 cents per share, from $92 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $2.3 billion from $2.2 billion.

Revenue per available room, a key measure of health in the lodging industry, rose 8.3 percent at company-operated hotels open more than a year in North America, driven by a 4 percent increase in room rates.

For the fourth quarter, the Bethesda, Md.-based company said it expects North American revenue-per-room growth of 7 percent to 9 percent, with earnings at 72 cents to 75 cents per share.