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Marriott profit beats on higher occupancy

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May 8 (Reuters) - Marriott International Inc, the world's largest hotel chain, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by higher room rates and occupancy.

Shares of the company were up 4.1 percent in extended trading on Monday.

The hotel chain, which owns the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury hotel brands, said it expects revenue per available room (revPAR), a key metric that measures hotel health, to rise 1-3 percent this year, up from its previous forecast of 0.5 to 2.5 percent.

RevPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily room rate by its occupancy rate.

"RevPAR exceeded our expectations in North America and Europe due to stronger group attendance and higher-rated business transient demand," Chief Executive Arne Sorenson said in a statement.

Marriott's North American and worldwide systemwide RevPAR rose 3.1 percent, in the first quarter ended March 31.

The company, whose brands also include the JW Marriott, Autograph and Courtyard, said its room rates edged up 0.6 percent while occupancy increased 1.7 percent.

Net income rose to $365 million, or 94 cents per share, in the quarter, from $219 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.01 per share, beating estimates of 91 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue for the company rose 47.4 percent to $5.56 billion.

Up to Monday's close, shares of the Bethesda, Maryland-based company had risen 16.6 percent this year. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)