Shelbourne Hotel operator Marriott posts bigger-than-expected loss

Marriott operates seven hotels in Ireland, including Mount Juliet and the Westin

US 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 operates seven luxury hotels in Ireland, including The Shelbourne, The Westin, Aloft and Moxy in Dublin, the Powerscourt Hotel in Co Wicklow, Mount Juliet Estate in Co Kilkenny, and The Sheraton in Athlone.

Marriott’s shares, down 40.3 per cent this year, fell 3 per cent in premarket 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 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 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 per cent for the week ending August 1st, up from 11 per cent in week ending April 11th. In China occupancy levels have reached 60 per cent.

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

It said the gradual recovery meant cash burn this year was now expected to be slower than previously estimated – $85 million a month down from prior expectation of $145 million.

On an adjusted basis, Marriott reported a loss of 64 cent per share in the second quarter ending June 30th, bigger than analysts’ expectation of a loss of 42 cent per share.

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 per cent to $1.46 billion (€1.24bn), missing estimates of $1.68 billion. – Reuters/Bloomberg