DESCRIPTION: An international company with 47 hotels and 21,000 rooms and 18 franchise inns, Roy Rogers and Big Boys restaurants, dinner houses and cafeterias, inflight airline catering, two amusement parks and cruise ship operations (NYSE,M,P,Phila). PROFITS PER SHARE: $1.95. Dividends: $5.8 million (17 cents a share, since increased to 20 cents annually). FOUNDED: 1926. TOP EXECUTIVES: J. Willard Marriott, chairman, J.W. Marriott Jr., president and chief executive.
As in past economic slowdowns, Marriott officers believe their firm is in just the right businesses to escape major adverse consequences of recession. People still eat out, but close to home, during rough times. And business travelers will still stay at Marriott hotels, most of them located near airports or in major commercial centers. In 1979, hotel revenues soared 31 percent, profits were up 30 percent and new rooms opened for hotels set a new record of 3,000 (bringing the total to 21,000). One soft spot has been the theme park business. Attendance was flat in 1979 but per-person spending rose and profits jumped 48 percent. The restaurant business held its won in a tough year of higher food costs and increased minimum wages, with profits up just 4 percent and sales up 9 percent. Contract food services profits rose 34 percent on a 24 percent sales gain.