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Marriott to open 1,700 hotels, return $11 billion to shareholders by 2021

Reuters logo Reuters 18/3/2019 Sanjana Shivdas

Hotel chain Marriott on Monday mapped out a three-year plan to open more than 1,700 hotels around the world, return up to $11 billion to shareholders and make a full-year profit of as much as $8.50 per share by 2021.

Marriott, which owns the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury hotel brands, said it would add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms over three years, potentially adding $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilized.

The company also forecast a profit of $7.65 to $8.50 per share by 2021, the mid point of which was above $7.72 estimated by analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

During the three-year period, the company plans to pay $1.9 billion to $2 billion in dividends and buy back $7.6 billion to $9 billion in shares, Marriott said.

The company, which plans to hold an investor conference on Monday, expects comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth - a key measure of hotel health - between 1 and 3 percent on an annual basis for the three-year period.

Last month, Marriott missed Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and forecast a lower-than-expected full-year profit, blaming weak demand in North America, its largest market.

The company was hit by a massive data breach involving up to 383 million guests in its Starwood hotels reservation system and Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson earlier this month apologized before a U.S. Senate panel and vowed to protect against future attacks.

a close up of a sign: Signage for the New York Marriott Marquis is seen in Manhattan, New York © Reuters/Andrew Kelly Signage for the New York Marriott Marquis is seen in Manhattan, New York

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