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

This photo taken on January 11, 2018 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 pandemic curbed global travel and led to a plunge in room bookings.

Marriott’s shares, down 40.3% this year, fell 3.8% 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 said it now expects a gradual rise in occupancy rates across the world although it may be a few years before it sees a return to pre-COVID period demand levels, echoing smaller rival Hilton’s comments from last week.

“While our business continues to be profoundly impacted by COVID-19, we are seeing steady signs of demand returning”, Marriott Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson said in a statement.

For the full year, the company currently estimates rooms could grow by 2 to 3 percent.

The company’s loss attributable to stockholders was $234 million, or 72 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with net income of $232 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

Marriott last reported a quarterly loss in the third quarter of 2011.

Total revenue plunged 72.4% to $1.46 billion.

On an adjusted basis, Marriott reported a loss of $0.64 per share.

Analysts on average had estimated revenue of $1.68 billion and loss of $0.42 per share for the quarter, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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