Marriott joins Hilton in lifting profit forecast on unabated travel demand

Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) joined its rival Hilton in raising its annual profit forecast on Thursday, aided by higher pricing and a strong rebound in leisure and business travel even as recession risks cloud consumer spending.

Marriott, which owns hotels like Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis, expects adjusted profit per share of between $6.51 and $6.58 this year, compared with its previous forecast of $6.33 to $6.59 per share.

“We expect continued demand growth around the world in the fourth quarter and anticipate that global RevPAR could increase 2 percent to 4 percent compared to 2019,” Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano said.

Pent-up desire to travel bolstered by a more powerful U.S. dollar and flexible work arrangements have emboldened consumers and extended the travel season into the fall.

Upbeat earnings from Visa Inc (V.N) and American Express (AXP.N) further underscored the strength in U.S. consumer spending despite worries over inflation and rising interest rates.

Last week, Hilton (HLT.N) also bumped its annual profit forecast.

Marriott posted a 36.3% rise in its revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key measure for a hotel’s top-line performance, for the quarter to Sept. 30, compared to a year earlier on a constant currency basis.

Marriott’s revenues rose nearly 35% to $5.31 billion, falling slightly short of analysts’ average estimate of $5.34 billion, as per Refinitiv data.