Marriott is predicting that its hotel business will boost operating profits by 40% this year on the back of robust second-quarter figures.
Marriott's lodging business (which covers hotels, timeshare, fractional ownership and serviced apartments) boosted operating income from $77m (£42m) to $252m (£137m) in the 12 weeks to 16 June, despite a decline in timeshare business.
Sales increased to $2.8b (£15b) from $2.56b (£1.4b) in the second quarter of 2005.
For the half year, the hotel business increased operating profit from $280m (£153m) to $482m (£263m), and turnover from $4.99m (£2.7b) to $5.46b (£2.98b).
"Given these above items, the company estimates that lodging operating income will total $950m (£518) to $980m (£534m) in 2006, an increase of 36% to 40% over 2005," the company forecast in its quarterly report.
During the second quarter, Marriott opened 33 new hotels and timeshare units (including the Marriott hotel in Leicester and five Courtyards in Europe) with a total of 4,853 bedrooms.
Its pipeline of hotels under construction has grown to 80,000, up from 60,000 at the same point in 2005, and it intends to open 25,000 of them during the current year.
Total group pre-tax profits rose to $491m (£268m) from $254m (£138m) in the first half of the year.
By Angela Frewin