The fall quarter of 2011 saw Marriott International’s profit drop a surprising 18% compared to a year earlier.
Demand for hotels in North America is rising while the industry itself is slowing, which usually means higher prices. But Marriott invested a lot in its timeshare business and has yet to see results.
The company earned $173 million in fourth quarter 2010, and only $141 million fourth quarter 2011.
Despite not meeting stockholders’ expectations, CEO J.W. Marriott Jr. released a statement saying: “"We are bullish about the long-term growth prospects for both Marriott and the global lodging industry. With a growing middle class and rapid economic growth in many emerging markets, global demand is increasing steadily."
Overall revenue for the company was up 31%, from $11.69 billion in 2010 to $12.32 billion in 2011. The fourth-quarter loss was in line with Wall Street Predictions. Hoteliers agree that 2012 will bring new emerging markets and tourism to new areas, something I’ve written about previously.