Hotel operator Marriott International Inc MAR.O said on Wednesday 4 May that it expects a key revenue metric for its United States and Canada markets to hit pre-pandemic levels for the rest of the year, as leisure and business travel pick up pace.
Marriott followed rival Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc HLT.N in reinstating its dividend sooner than expected, but stopped short of offering a profit forecast for the year.
Hotel operators have benefited from higher demand during the first quarter as people spent more on travel, dining out and hotel stays despite rising inflation.
The ability to reprice hotel rooms on a daily basis have also helped hotel operators cope with inflationary pressures.
Marriott forecast RevPAR, or revenue per available room, for the rest of the year to be "roughly flat" with 2019 levels in the US and Canada.
The company also said it expects April RevPAR to have "fully recovered".
"Luxury pricing really led to a bigger RevPAR recovery than we expected," Bernstein analyst Richard Clarke said.
Marriott reported an adjusted profit of $1.25 per share in the first quarter, compared with estimates of 90 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data, helped in part by higher prices at its luxury properties.
The company's comparable RevPAR rose 96.5% in the reported quarter, with gains in every region except Greater China due to the fresh pandemic surge there.
"We are increasingly optimistic that global RevPAR gap compared to pre-pandemic levels will continue to narrow meaningfully in 2022," Marriott Chief Executive Anthony Capuano said.
The company also set a target of resuming share buybacks this year.
Marriott reported revenue of $4.2 billion in the quarter, compared with estimates of $4.11 billion.
The company's worldwide occupancy rose from 45% in January to 64% in March.
Shares Trading Up
Marriott's shares were trading up 1.6% at $175.80 on Wednesday 4 May.