Hotel Online  Special Report

Carlson Owned and Managed Operations Increase
Sales 24% in 2004 to $8.4 billion; Carlson
Hotels Worldwide Adds 87 Hotels in 2004


MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (March 2, 2005) - Carlson Companies today announced that 2004 systemwide sales from its global, company-owned and franchised operations reached record levels.  Systemwide sales totaled $26.1 billion, a 25 percent increase, compared with $20.9 billion in 2003. Sales from Carlson-owned and managed operations totaled $8.4 billion, a 24 percent increase, compared with $6.8 billion the previous year.

Carlson Companies is a global leader in business and leisure travel, restaurant, hotel, cruise, and marketing services. 

"Our sales results are dramatically positive because of improvements in productivity, business acquisitions and our determination to be best in class," said Carlson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Carlson Nelson. "We also have benefited from improvements in the U.S. economy and a pent up demand for travel, which continues to improve."

Systemwide sales, which include both franchised and owned/managed operations, were driven by sales growth in each of the company's major divisions.  Systemwide sales especially benefited from an increase in sales across Carlson's travel brands, with significant improvement in both business and leisure travel.

"Over the past two years we have improved our business processes across the company, and our business units are working well together to meet increasing customer needs," said Carlson Companies President and Chief Operating Officer Curtis Nelson. "We look forward to a successful 2005 as we continue to build on strong business relationships with existing customers and reach out to new ones."

2004 business unit highlights

Carlson Hotels Worldwide added 87 hotels and resorts to its global, multi-brand network, including 45 hotels in the U.S. The company ended the year with 890 hotels in 70 countries. The company's hotel brands include Regent International Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, County Inns & Suites By Carlson, and Park Inn.

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide added 10 company-owned T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in the U.S. along with six new franchised locations.  Internationally, 27 Friday's restaurants opened. There are more than 530 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants operating in 49 states and more than 230 international locations in 54 countries.

Carlson Leisure Group added America's Vacation Store; Singlescruise, Inc.;; home-based travel agency franchise program Sea Master Cruises; and Cruise Specialists, Inc., to its long list of brands, which include flagship Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Carlson Leisure group's total number of agency locations exceeds 1,800.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Carlson's business travel management division, purchased Maritz Travel Company's U.S. corporate travel subsidiary; OnBoard, a German travel management company, and Protravel of France.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises was named Best Luxury Cruise Line by Travel Weekly magazine; Best Large Cruise Line by Departures magazine; Best of the Best by the Robb Report; Best Luxury Cruise Line by Porthole magazine, and was recognized as having the top-rated medium-sized ship in the world (The Seven Seas Voyager) by Condé Nast Traveler.

Carlson Marketing Group was ranked as the largest U.S. marketing services agency in the 17th Annual Marketing Services Report by Advertising Age magazine. Carlson also received the publication's top ranking for U.S. sales promotion agencies and was ranked sixth among U.S. direct marketing agencies.

Carlson Companies is a global leader in the marketing, business and leisure travel and hospitality industries.

Also See: Paul Kirwin Named President, Carlson Asia Pacific; Will Establish Singapore Headquarters for Carlson Hotel, Marketing and Restaurant Operations / January 2005
Carlson Hotels Opened 14 New Properties During January 2005 / February 2005

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