Marriott International made a loss of £220m for 2009, compared to its reported income of £218m the previous year.
The company's worldwide revenue per available room (revpar) fell by 20% during last year.
However, the Q4 results exceeded expectations with a reported income of £67.5m, compared with a reported loss of £6.4m during the same period the previous year. The revpar decline slowed to 12.2% in the same period and the group expects it to turn positive sometime during 2010.
"While the global business climate remained difficult, fourth quarter results exceeded our expectations," said JW Marriott Jr, chairman and chief executive of Marriot International. "We grew our system, reduced total debt, and continued to improve efficiencies worldwide.
"In the fourth quarter, leisure travellers responded to aggressive marketing campaigns and special offers and, even adjusting for easier year-over-year comparisons, business travel showed signs of improvement, particularly in international markets."
Marriott International operates more than 3,300 hotels in 68 countries. In the UK, there are 56 properties including 49 Marriotts, one JW Marriott, one Courtyard, four Renaissance and one Marriott Executive Apartments, with two further hotels planned for later this year.
By Janet Harmer
E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next hotel job here with Caterersearch.com jobs