"North American group and transient demand exceeded our expectations during the quarter, driving RevPAR and house profit margins higher," said Chief Executive Arne Sorenson, adding that the company was particularly pleased to see higher customer spending on food and beverages. Marriott raised its outlook for the year, saying earnings could total $2.39 to $2.53 a share, compared with its prior forecast of $2.29 to $2.45 a share. The company also expects full-year world-wide comparable RevPAR to increase 4.5% to 6.4%. For the latest period, Marriott reported earnings of $172 million up from $136 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 4.8% to $3.29 billion. World-wide revenue per room grew 6.2% as occupancy rates rose to 70.1%, the company said. The company had projected world-wide RevPAR growth of 4% to 6%. World-wide average daily rates were up 3.2%. In North America, comparable systemwide RevPAR rose 6.3%, including a 3.3% increase in average daily rates. The company also forecast RevPAR for the current quarter to grow 4% to 6% on a constant dollar basis. Get the full story at Reuters and Marriott International