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Marriott International Inc. says it turned a better-than-expected profit in its first quarter thanks to higher room rates and a return of events by large groups.

The company, based in Bethesda, Md., said Wednesday that it earned $136 million, or 43 cents per share, in the three-month period that ended March 31. That’s up from $104 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago. A change in the company’s fiscal year meant nine extra days in the quarter this year compared to last.

Revenue in the quarter rose 23 percent to $3.14 billion, topping Wall Street’s expectations for earnings of 40 cents per share and revenue of $2.94 billion, according to FactSet.

The company’s revenue per available room was $97.48, up 4.6 percent from the prior year.

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