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Marriott posts bigger-than-expected loss as COVID-19 hits bookings

Marriott posts bigger-than-expected loss as COVID-19 hits bookings

File photo of the Marriott hotel logo in Vienna, Austria, Apr 9, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader)

BETHESDA, Maryland: US hotel operator Marriott International posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday (Aug 10), as the coronavirus pandemic curbed global travel and led to a plunge in room bookings.

Marriott's shares, down 40.3 per cent this year, fell 3.8 per cent in pre-market trading as the company also reported an 84.4 per cent 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-pandemic 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 CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement.

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

The company's loss attributable to stockholders was US$234 million, or US$0.72 per share, in the second quarter ended Jun 30, compared with net income of US$232 million, or US$0.69 per share, a year earlier.

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

Total revenue plunged 72.4 per cent to US$1.46 billion.

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

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

Source: Reuters/dv

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