Marriott posts bigger-than-expected loss as virus hits bookings

This photo shows a woman walking past Marriott signage in Hangzhou in China’s Zhejiang province.

– | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. hotel operator Marriott International posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday, as the coronavirus crisis curbed global travel and led to a plunge in room bookings.

Marriott’s shares, down 40.3% this year, fell 3% in premarket trading as the company also reported an 84.4% plunge in revenue per available room (RevPAR) – a key performance measure for the hotel industry.

However, Marriott echoed smaller rival Hilton’s comments from last week, saying it now expects a gradual rise in occupancy rates across the world although it may take a few years for them to return to pre-COVID period demand levels.

“While our business continues to be profoundly impacted by COVID-19, we are seeing steady signs of demand returning”, Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson said in a statement, adding that Greater China continued to lead the recovery.

Marriott said it was seeing a recovery across all regions, with global occupancy rates of 34% for the week ended Aug. 1, up from 11% in week ended April 11. In China, occupancy levels have reached 60%.

The company said it has reopened 91% of its worldwide hotels, compared with 74% in April.

On an adjusted basis, Marriott reported a loss of 64 cents per share in the second quarter ended June 30, bigger than analysts’ expectation of a loss of 42 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Marriott previously reported a quarterly net loss in 2011 due to a charge related to its now spun-off timeshare business.

Total revenue plunged 72.4% to $1.46 billion, missing estimates of $1.68 billion.

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